The plan was a two-level party at Boom Concepts in the Friendship section of Pittsburgh. InTheRough curated the space to celebrate creative communities of Pittsburgh. DJ Based Grvce handled the crowd upstairs as people steadily flowed in the building all night. First, people headed for the free drinks trying to get “gnarly off the jungle juice,” as Woolane would say. Next, they stopped at the Commendations voting platform to cast physical votes for the individuals who worked with diligence and consistency throughout 2018.
There was a blank ITR poster on the wall that said, “Write Here.” The clean canvas piqued people’s interest. The poster was covered by night’s end with social media tags, penis drawings and positive messages. It’s not a party unless someone draws a dick with a sharpie.
Downstairs in the basement, what was supposed to be a print shop for local streetwear brands turned into a smoke session with underground artists and creatives. Rappers JvGGY Hendrix, Keith.Wav, Sobah and Julio of Wave Beast Productions were found in the plumes of smoke having photoshoots. Keith.Wav controlled the aux chord to keep the basement crowd engaged. When he wasn’t playing songs, singer-songwriter Josephine rang her unreleased music for the scene to critique.
Many people celebrated themselves and others last night at the Year End Review Party. You know who you are. High school friends pulled up on a reunion attitude. That was touching.
Emcees Taylor Bush and ITR’s Maxwell Young set the stage for rapper Woolane’s performance. “What’s your goal for 2019? Where you wanna go? Who you wanna be,” prompted Young. The Year End party gave Woolane a fresh audience to introduce his music, too. While tending bar, I bopped around to “STUK” and “Purple Hearts” pouring a girl whiskey and water on the rocks. Keith.Wav asked if he could have an impromptu set after Woolane. His assertion was appreciated, especially because of his highly anticipated song on the way called “DAMN!” that would’ve transitioned nicely from Woolane’s pop star. The night ended in bliss as DJ Based Grvce played a house song by Toro y Moi. When the last note played, Based Grvce thanked everyone and headed for the basement. The smoke box rightfully became an art party after her set. Quaishawn Whitlock fulfilled Melanin prints for people sitting around the print tables rolling blunts. Matt’s Music Mine grabbed a Stillers™ shirt and printed some ITR logos down the chest. He said nothing made him feel more about the culture than making T-shirts in a basement.
Overall, the goal has always been to celebrate positive communities and achievements that impact peers. Thank you to everyone who showed up last night. Thank you for playing a significant role in the culture here in The ‘Burgh.
Polaroids taken by Maxwell Young.