In the heart of Brooklyn’s Jefferson Street district sits the unassuming AP Café. By day, the café is the typical hipster coffee shop/fresh food spot. The clean aesthetics and minimalist storefront are attractive to the millennial and millennial at heart and their back room is host to yoga, meditation, and creative events. Some nights though, like the first Saturday this august, are a very different story. That night, a host of cool-kid Brooklyners crowded into the coffee-shop-turned-trendy-venue with night club vibes and hometown pride. The event was a showcase of up-and-coming local talent produced by S T L R and turned out to be the coolest party on the block.
The night started at 7 with an open bar, free tattoos, and performances. Eli Folá opened with an afro-centric deep house set, followed by a performance which included original pieces and covers of songs like Jayden Smith’s ICON by local kids in the Educated Little Monsters program which provides local kids with arts education.
For the first two hours, guests were stuffed into the front space of the store keeping everyone close, focused on the performances and original video graphics projected on the walls and looped on screens throughout the space. At 9, the doors to the back room were opened and an entirely new vibe took over. As we waited for the main performances to start, there was now space to dance and mingle and people wandered around the venue rubbing elbows with the talent and new friends alike.
The first set was a krump performance by The Nuu Knynez . Their out of control performance set the crowd on fire; everyone there was struck by the power of the dancers combined with the artistry that was clear in their stage presence and the proud and forceful energy at the root of the style. There was a definite change of pace when Chelsie Denise took the stage. Her lyricism and laid-back R&B vibes took over the space as the pared back sound of her accompanying trio of musicians drew the crowd into her performance. Pierce Cady also made an appearance but decided to cut his dance set short due to technical difficulties.
A final DJ set rounded out the night as the crowd died down and the night club scene transformed into house party-style gathering with some guests lining the walls while others took the floor to show off their own dance moves and vibe with the music.