Walking into the most iconic of event centers on the island, under a decently lit sky, concertgoers and excited Lagosians were greeted by hostesses dressed in all white ensemble and silver face-masks. This was only after they got past the savage looking bouncers of course. The surrounding environment of the gated entrance was animated by a number of people doing a variety of things like sampling Malboro cigarettes in one corner, shouting at the top of their lungs at the bouncers in the other, being interviewed by VJ’s from various media houses, and other demanding activities. With all of this, it was pleasant being able to stroll past the semi-chaotic hustle thanks to my VIP tag and settle in to hear Dj Lobitz rendition of the very popular New World Anthem – Man’s Not Hot.
Three whole years after debuting in 2015 (According to X), then graduating to the second in 2016 (The Flight edition), Superstar DJ Xclusive returned with the third consecutive edition of his all-white-party, “The Phantom Edition”. The event held at the Landmark Event Center, Victoria Island Lagos on the 8th of October 2017 with major partners South African beer Castle Lite, Ciroc and Pepsi deluging me with publicity material at every turn. Now inside, I was swiftly approached at the entrance with a warm smile and out-stretched hands that offered a little card that read “This card gets you 5 bottles of CASTLE LITE”. Reciprocating with a bright smile, I thought to myself “this is a pleasant touch”.
With my card in pocket, and my gaze set straight, I was now facing the white carpet, arraigned with all things white as far as the eyes could see. The carpet was occupied with celebrities and selfie-takers alike. But in an attempt not to miss any of the already progressing action, I scurried past this section to get a glimpse of the main action happening inside. In the midst of my swift movements, the warmth from all the smiling hostesses, the numbing cold from the properly air conditioned space, I felt significantly secure from being constantly surrounded by combat ready-looking security persons.
Now in the VIP section, armed with an alert mind and an unrestricted view, I was shocked that Nigerians could actually adhere to a dress code as everyone in the crowd was dressed completely in white. Asides the regulation of the crowd, the all-white venue was complete with a stage facing north, DJ booth atop the Castle Lite truck to the south, two VIP lounges flanking east and west with four screens at each VIP section, and two mega screens flanking the stage.
To be clear, The Phantom edition party wasn’t just 12 hours of loud music, free booze and celebration, but it was a partygoers dream. SDX often says anything can happen, and true to those words, almost everything did happen at this party. During the event which exceeded the ten hour mark, the organizers somehow managed to ensure the tightest security detail possible, proper ventilation of the space (even at the climax of the event), an intimate feeling between the performers and crowd, periodic snow, a proposal (by a guy called Kola), and believe it or not, (for the VIP sections) there was small chops – my personal highlight of the night. As if this was not enough, all these happened while we ran through hits like Wo, Suddenly, Maradona, Hale Hale, Come Closer, Yawa and many more hits along with less than a handful of western songs like Rihanna’s Work.
If you take your mask off, anything can happen, everything did happen.
While the show was slowly gearing up to begin properly, DO2TUN as is customary, was the emcee the entire night, and he got personal with the crowd, even rushing into the middle of it at one point to strum his dance moves surrounded by fans in the middle of his introduction and accompaniment of the DJ’s ontop of the Castle Lite music truck. For the longest time (the first 5 hours of the show) it was a parade of DJ after DJ, all causing a rift when they took charge. Dj’s Lobe, Spicey, Stormmy, Sose, RUUD, Consequence, and Humility performed at different times in the event and they seemed to be all the crowd required to have the times of their lives. It came off to me as though the hype in the air could not be exceeded even when Xclusive himself came on stage. I was wrong.
The energy levels at the show kept getting higher and seemed to reach a climax the moment DJ Xclusive stepped on stage. Now on stage, DJ Xclusive who looked more like an actor than a DJ with his jumpsuit and phantom mask, lanky dark hair and beard, Ciroc bottle in hand visibly ecstatic at the success of his 3rd successful all-white-party. The stage theatrically designed with a pair of X’s, one infront and one behind his DJ stand, with an array of flashing lights and occasional flames as a backdrop was not enough to contain the man of the moment once he got behind the wheel and steered the party which ever direction he so pleased. I remember glancing at my watch and thinking, “He came on rather early” as it was barely midnight at the time. The ground literally shook from the excitement and ecstasy in the air.
Indeed, his all white parties have been about the music, especially, the eccentric Nigerian sound, many of which he has contributed to in more ways than one, but the show itself – along with a conglomerate of superstar artists like Harry Song, Oritse Femi, LAX, Skales, Small Doctor, Junior Boy, Koker, Jaywon, Dotman, 9ice, Destiny Boy, pepenazi, Niniola, Skuki, Orezi (and his funny hairstyle), and Ice Prince provided the perfect cushion for industrial forays, with SDX’s pulse giving the Nigerian music and entertainment scene a modern edge.
Things got mildly bizarre when Small Doctor sprayed money into the crowd after performing his hit single Penalty. As expected, Small Doctor sent the crowd into a frenzy as they broke the barricade thereby tilting the flame thrower in the direction of the crowd. It seemed like a movie at the time, but at least 3 flares were sent into the crowd. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Balancing out the bizarre, was the solemn, as DO2TUN, SDX, Jimmy Jatt and Ice Prince at various times during the show each observed a minute’s silence in respect of Deejay Olu.
DJ Xclusive’s all white party was a unique and electrifying experience that had no dull moment, and asides the music and booze, it really did look a lot like heaven.