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Sick of Dude Music? This weekend, all-lady DJ crew Anthology of Booty will bring its monthly dance night, “deBASSment,” toD.C.’s newest venue, the U Street Music Hall. DJing is one of those traditionally male-dominated subcultures, so it’s great that the District has a night dedicated to Anthology’s lineup of DJs: Natty Boom, bent, Trash, and rAt.
Anthology of Booty describes its dance night as “Global Booty Beats from near and far to undermine our moral integrity.” How do they manage that, exactly? By keeping the music “raunchy”—-but subtly shifting the sexual dynamics of the District’s typical dance floor while they do it.
But first, here’s Anthology of Booty on Anthology of Booty:
- Our crew is a mix of people from many different backgrounds, and we are painfully aware of how social spaces like dances, clubs, and bars have been used to keep people apart and maintain social dynamics such as racism, misogyny, and homophobia. We are committed to resisting these negative forces by creating spaces for dancing, enjoyment, relaxation, and art with an emphasis on inclusion and respect. As DJs, we play all kinds of music reflecting our different communities and passions. Depending on the event and the crowd, we choose different kinds of music, and although we are best known for getting people to dance, we are equally comfortable with a more chill atmosphere of socializing with background music that will still make people want to stay and enjoy the environment.The Anthology of Booty is a DJ crew in Washington DC seeking to create unique and welcoming social spaces. Our crew is a mix of people from many different backgrounds, and we are painfully aware of how social spaces like dances, clubs, and bars have been used to keep people apart and maintain social dynamics such as racism, misogyny, and homophobia. We are committed to resisting these negative forces by creating spaces for dancing, enjoyment, relaxation, and art with an emphasis on inclusion… (read more)
Playing to a diverse crowd while stamping out the racism, homophobia, and misogyny is easier said than done. When I spoke to the DJs last week, they let me in one one tactic they use to keep their dance space respectful. Take the case of “Back That Ass Up”—-naturally, this is a” favorite track to a DJ group that calls itself Anthology of Booty. But how do you play a track about men objectifying women on the dancefloor without inspiring a non-inclusive vibe or an all-out grope fest?
Anthology of Booty says that the key is to put the booty jams in context. “A lot of times, DJs set a vibe that’s sexually aggressive, just by the music they’re playing,” says DJ Natty Boom. One way DJs set a meat-market tone is by leading with a track like “Back That Ass Up” and keeping the typically raunchy tracks flowing, without providing any alternate musical perspectives on sex. So while Anthology of Booty loves some “Back That Ass Up,” these DJs are careful to play it within a culturally diverse mix of songs that includes plenty of work by female and LGBT artists.
In order to demonstrate the respectfully raunchy theory, Anthology of Booty put together an awesome spring mixtape for Sexist readers. Listen to the mix here or check out the playlist below.
DeBASSment at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St NW Sunday, April 18 from 9 p.m.—-2 a.m. $5. 18 +