Can y’all keep a secret?
Look, I don’t wanna start spreading stuff but I heard through the watermelonvine (which everyone knows, is superior to grapes) that someone whose name rhymes with Joe Biden (I’m terrible at rhyming) is throwing a secret pre-party for a certain California senator, who just became the first Black woman to be nominated for vice president.
Yep, before the Democrats introduce the next vice president at their national convention on Wednesday night, DJ D-Nice will be spinning records at “The Black Party”—a watch party sponsored by African Americans for Biden.
Shhhh! Don’t say it out loud! People might hear you!
Who told me? Well, you know a good reporter can’t reveal his sources!
All I can say is this: A certain member of New Edition called me last night, who also may have been in the group Bell Biv DeVoe. As I was trying to tell this person we shall call “Not Ricky Bell or Ronnie Devoe” about my great idea for a Verzuz battle (A face-off between New Edition and the individual members of New Edition. Genius, right?), he asked me if I was going to the party on Wednesday night.
I was like: “What party?”
He was like: “You didn’t know they’re throwing a party for Kamala Harris’ speech at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday?”
And I was like: “No I didn’t. Cory Booker just did an interview for The Root Institute and he didn’t say nothing! Kamala even has my cell number! She’s gotten all big-time since Biden selected her to be VP.”
I was just about to call Sen. Harris and say “You can’t call nobody?” when
Michael Bivins this person said: “Bruh, it’s a surprise party. She don’t even know about it!” and then I was cool.
“I had an opportunity to meet her in person,” Bivins told The Root. “I was in Detroit campaigning for Joe and Cory [Booker] was there. [Governor] Gretchen [Whitmer] from Michigan was there. And just the way she came into the room, I could see she was a people’s person. And at this point, she was just coming there to support Joe...For me, what I’m so excited about it, is because I think he made a hell of a choice, man. But as a person, I’m excited for him plus I’m excited for us.”
Bivins acknowledged that he feels it is his duty to use his platform and celebrity status in the political and social justice arena.
“I just think that our responsibility is to engage Black voters and also engage the Black men who really didn’t show up in 2016,” he explained. “It’s important for me to speak out when I see injustice and tell how important that vote is. And not to sit home and talk about it, but actually go to the polls of mailing your ballot and let your voice be heard. And I think that message is so important this year, just like it was in ’08 when we saw history with Barack. Twelve years later, it’s critical for us to usher in something new and something different and the change.”
He still didn’t tell me how to get into the party, but I knew who to call to get more details and answer the most important question for Black America:
Who all gon’ be there?
“I’m not just excited about her as a candidate,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump told The Root. “I’m more excited about her character. That’s why I’m committed to helping this ticket defeat Donald Trump.”
Although Crump was noncommittal about buying me a drink, he said his friendship with Harris predates her nomination as Vice President and lauded her “progressive record as a prosecutor and attorney general.”
“There’ll be no cake but this is absolutely a party and pep rally,” said Biden National Campaign co-chair, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.). “If you’re ready for the hard work that’s going to have to be done to make sure that we win this election for the reasons that we’ve articulated, which is, uniting the country, restoring the soul of America and bringing everybody along with us this time—Black, white, Latinx, women, rural—that’s what it’s about.
“It’s all virtual,” Richmond revealed. “D-Nice will be there. Michael Bivins will be there. I’ll be there. It is a virtual happy hour to get ready to see the president and the future vice president.”
Wait...D-Nice will be there?
Here is exclusive footage of my reaction:
Richmond went on to explain how the Democratic National Convention is the “pep rally before the big game,” but I wasn’t really paying attention after he mentioned that D-Nice would be deejaying this virtual block party. I’d been trying to get in contact with D-Nice since he gave the world its moment of happiness at the beginning of the global pandemic.
So I reached out to D-Nice to see if he could put my name on the list at the door and to ask him which song he planned to play when he hears the big news in November that the Biden-Harris ticket earned 270 electoral votes.
“I was going with my gut instinct, I would probably play ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ by Sam Cooke just because that’s what moves me and because I know how important this moment is,” D-Nice told The Root. “But I think I should probably find a song that is more upbeat...more uplifting.”
D-Nice explains that his newfound status as the official DJ of #BlackJoy was not even part of his plan. He says he was using Instagram as a tool to explore conversations about music and culture when he began playing some of his favorite songs.
“I was just happy with having 200 people,” the rapper/DJ recounted. “I was happy having a conversation with John Legend. Dave Chappelle joined me. I had old school rapper, Big Daddy Kane. I call up a buddy—another DJ named Clark Kent and I told him, ‘I don’t know what this is. It definitely feels like I’m connected to people.’ Clark Kent’s advice to me was: “You should actually be deejaying now, you should just do it.’”
D-Nice says that he is excited to host this event for the Biden campaign, especially for the prospect of being involved with Sen. Harris becoming the first Black veep.
“I love Joe Biden,” D-Nice said. “But this is also an opportunity for all of us to make history and I’m just happy to be able to use my platform to do it.”
Asked about the prospect of spinning at an inaugural ball, D-Nice said he would be honored, even discussing the idea of a virtual “People’s Ball” where the entire country could celebrate a Biden-Harris victory together.
“That’s a great idea,” he said. “And, of course, if Biden or Harris wanted to stop by our party, we’d see if there was room on the list.”
The “Black Party” begins at 8 p.m. ET and anyone can RSVP at joe.link/blackparty.
Don’t tell anyone I said this, but I’m pretty sure ladies get in free before 11.
See y’all at the party!
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