Recently a force emerged on campus. Temple students Christopher P. Lewis-El, Mike Godshall, Ben Ostroff and their friend Dan Goldman set out to show people a good time and make their music known. They completed their promotion within a week. Colorful fliers reading “APRIL FOOLS @ FAMILY HOUSE, April 1st” were distributed into the hands of strangers.
The promotion efforts were successful. The Family House in West Philadelphia was packed with Temple students and some locals by 11 p.m. By midnight the foundation was shakin’.
DJ Midnite, Christopher P. Lewis-El, was pumpin’ beats to a full house at the Family House. Midnite is due to graduate from Temple May 18 with a Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Mass Media major.
“I would rather just be a DJ, but sometimes things don’t work out that way. So, I’ll have my day job to fall back on,” he said with a smile.
House music of all kinds, hip-hop and old skool hip-hop are his passion.
“I listened to all that stuff when I was growing up,” he said.
Midnite stays true to the music he grew up with. Through diversity, Midnite is “keepin’ it real.”
The only criticism Midnite has for the Philly scene is that it’s mostly commercial: “I shouldn’t be hearing the same thing at four different clubs. That’s why the nights don’t have any flavor; the people ain’t feelin’ it.”
He believes that the scene is due for change and that underground DJs like him will facilitate that change.
“There are always DJs on the underground and that’s how things change,” he said.
Midnite believes that the more underground DJs perform, the more notoriety they will receive.
“The door will open with notoriety. People talk about your night; they’ll come. Then other clubs will follow,” Midnite told DJ G-Funk. He told G-Funk to never change his style to be like everyone else. If you’re good, “they will follow you.”
G-Funk, Mike Godshall, is a DJ to follow. His powerful progressive house beats will move anyone’s mind and body. G-Funk is a junior at Temple’s Tyler campus, pursuing a major in Graphic Design. For the past two years he has been a resident DJ at the Nile nightclub in South Jersey, where he spins in the Groove Lounge Fridays and Saturdays. G-Funk does not confine himself to only house music, although it is his passion. He spins hip-hop as well. His upcoming CD releases include Progressive House Cleaning, a vocal mix, and Put Your Hands Up, a composition of summer 1999 hits.
There is a man G-Funk accredits for his housey know-how.
“He is a man of few words but the knowledge of a Jedi knight in the DJ business,” G-Funk said. “He can give you the lowdown on all the gossip and still spin the records at the same time. His wit is tight and so are his mixes.”
This man who helped G-Funk get his start is John Calvert, a.k.a. DJ Johnny Quest and formally known as DJ Objuan. Johnny Quest is a man of few words, but his production talents speak for themselves. He spun a skilled set at the Family House. He often sampled the Blood Hound Gang’s “Discovery Channel,” which he is currently in the works of remixing on a professional level.
DJ I.D., Ben Ostroff, is a junior pursuing a major in Psychology. His music is powerful. When I.D. took the turntables, “Shake whatcha mamma gave ya!” came screaming over the loudspeakers.
Dan Goldman described I.D. as a booty house music DJ. He wasn’t kidding. The crowd of mixed age, sex and race squeezed onto the small dancing space to shake. One tall, lanky African-American man was dancing circles around several young Temple students screaming “Oh!” with the beat and “Shake whatcha mamma gave ya!”
Later that evening, when I.D. was tending bar (he is a bartender for the Family House on Tuesdays and Fridays), he made an adequate remark about the man on the dance floor: “Yeah, he’s crazy! And he’s like 50, too.”
“The music chooses you, no matter what creed or generation,” said a partygoer at the bar. Part of the house music scene since 1988, he prefers the underground to the mainstream. He has been following Midnite’s underground style for about a year.
“Through house music you can really release something of yourself,” he said. “It is the most liberating thing I’ve ever heard and it’s ours, a microcosm that belongs to the people.”
The music is ours to enjoy no matter who we are, and with the sounds of Midnite, G-Funk, Johnny Quest and I.D., we always will. These Temple students are a force, and as Midnite said, “We work together because we work well together.” Their plan is to play their underground beats to open up the eyes of the masses, to spread the word and make things change.
Upcoming biweekly parties will be held on Saturdays held at the Family House on the corner of Catherine Street and Gray’s Ferry Avenue. There is a possibility that Midnite, G-Funk, and I.D. will soon be found flexing their skills at Pi Lambda Phi on Thursdays. A signing to Shawn Jackson’s Pimp Smack Productions is also expected.