We’ll get it out of the way early: This weekend is all about Saturday’s Mad Decent Block Party. And even though we think Diesel is responsible for the worst marketing campaign of all time, you should drop by tonight’s in-store pre-party anyway. From 5 to 7 p.m., saucy rapper Maluca tries her hand at DJing alongside DJ Venus, while you help yourself to a drink or two at Diesel’s expense. You can also pick up “dollars” good for food/drinks/prizes at tomorrow’s main event.
As for the rest of your Friday night, make your way into Williamsburg for more free fun, as Frank 151’s resident reggae maestro (and all-around pleasant dude) Synapse is headlining Wheel Up at Trophy Bar, a scene bound to be heavy on laid-back vibes spanning dancehall to hip-hop, funk to New Jack Swing. Giant Step’s Erik the Red and OG Chino are also scheduled to perform. For a little bit of the same with much more r&b, soul, and a hint of pop, head to the much swankier Huckleberry Bar, where DJ Benny B will make you mad you don’t turn on the radio more often. The bar has an outdoor patio and an epic cocktail selection–perfect if you’re looking for something a little more grown-up. As for me, I’ll be at Savalas (surprised?) for tonight’s edition of the Raid: Resident Cousin Cole is joined by DC DJ/production duo Starks & Nacey for a night of hip-hop, rock, disco, and my own personal requests to hear The-Dream and M.O.P.
Your day starts early on Saturday. The Mad Decent Block Party, a free (!!!) annual event held in the label’s Philadelphia hometown, has decided to go on tour this year. We’ve made the trek down to Philly for the last two years, and if it’s anything like the original, expect the inaugural NYC version to offer all the things you love about a real, old-fashioned summer block party: BBQ and hot dog stands, beers and Red Bulls, loud live music, water guns and little children, and even a dunking booth if you’re lucky. The lineup features the label’s newest swoon-fest Bosco Delrey, Bubu king Janka Nabay, and Pakastani punk kids PO PO, along with DJ sets by Eli Escobar, Federation Sound’s Max Glazer, and myriad others. Plus “special guests,” and who might they be? (Ahem… where’s Diplo?) The party goes down at South Street Seaport from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., so bring sunscreen and lots of water.
If you want to stay dive-y, head into Brooklyn, where a new party, PG-13, descends on Williamsburg’s duckduck bar. The name implies some teenage-appropriate grinding, and perhaps even an explicit rap record or five courtesy of the night’s DJs, Peter Jackson and Gio Alex. Otherwise, head over to the infamous House of Yes for the 10-to-11-p.m. open bar–tonight’s party features Jersey-based dub fiend Ezrakh and DJ Reck from the “Jersey club” crew Brick Bandits. Zulu Nation’s M.C. K-Swift rounds out an evening that promises a mix of hip-hop, house, club, garage, and reggae to keep you lost until the early morning. Finally, if you’re in South Brooklyn, head over to Southpaw for the Rub’s monthly fete: The line will be long, the dance floor will be crowded and sweaty, the tallboys will be affordable, and it will all be worth it.