9 Jahre HHV
When we’re not busy writing about shoes, shooting up shoes, and going bankrupt from spending all our hard-earned wonga on shoes, we’re out there livin’ it up in the name of shoes. One of our favorite pasttimes is attending events thrown by our favorite shoe shops, so last Friday we ventured out to East Berlin for a party in celebration of HHV’s ninth year in business slingin’ wax, kicks, and various hip hop gear.
Stepping off the wide streets of Friedrichshain and into the spaceous graf-walled courtyards of RAW we followed along old straßenbahn tracks to the entrance of Cassiopeia, buried back behind colorful intricate murals. Other early arrivers rolled in lazily on bicycles around midnight, congregating in the opening out front, drinking their späti britneys and tossing the empties in a nearby shopping cart for the bottle hunters in typical Berlin style.
A few already tipsy couples danced to their own music, dressed in flashy adidas Chile track tops and pairs of Forum Mid’s. Past the doormen people relaxed beneath lampposts and under tent awnings on picnic tables and lawn chairs next to the trees that litter the outdoor space of Cassiopeia.
Light beats wafted up from the rear of the yard, where a bar and a Grill box stood, both built from wooden logs and strung with oversized Christmas bulbs, a cabin style reminiscent of Bar 25. A live DJ spun tracks and got the initial energies going while folks ate and drank.
Inside of Cassiopeia reggae influenced hip hop bumped from the main floor, bathed in soft blue and red light, and carpeted with smoke from a fog machine and the aromatic smell of relaxation. A projection of the old school Pac Man game proclaimed this was the ’9 Jahre HHV’ event on the wall next to the stage.
Davy Dave (from HHV) spun on the stage and Stefan (aka G-Cut) – HHV’s head of marketing – joined him for tag team support on the decks. They turned through funk, soul, and jazzy upbeat breaks. By 1AM the crowd was already packing in (quite unusual for the normal Berliner time table on a Friday night) and the upstairs dance floor opened up to harder hip hop and rap ripped by the True Beatz Crew.
Groups lounged in large leather recliners lining the smooth tiled dance floor which slowly collected couples sipping cocktails. Others talked shit and guzzled beverages balanced on kicker tables in the corner of the wide second story room. Four disco balls swung from the ceiling’s hangar style rafters and wrought iron skylights gave a clear view of the starry night above.
The crowd grew – easily past three hundred – and by 1:30 AM Pils Daddy hit the main stage with silly, easy lyrics, and bubbly, friendly beats. The two humble MCs took turns wearing a large mitten constructed from their album sleeve, waving it to the rhythm of their hooks and verses, and the crowd sung along.
Smith and Smart followed them with melodic beat juggling and the room resounded with old school. Smith rocked a RUN S&S tee in the RUN DMC fashion and Smart kept it fresh with the oldest pair of adidas Abdul Jabbar we’ve ever seen on stage. They both switched between holding the mic and commanding the tables and the fader.
As the party raged on into Saturday morning’s sunrise the couple hundred left-over fun-lovers applied their sunglasses (an absolute must-have accessory when going out for a night on the town in Berlin) and carried their drinks to the courtyard. We talked shit with the HHV crew, and the headlining musicians, Smith and Smart, expressed how adidas has not only affected their generation, but also directly influenced their lyrics, particularly in their song ‘My Generation’ which is about the 80′s breaker generation. Maxwell Smart went on to explain his Abdul Jabber’s:
“The reason I wear them is that they are very old and they are in the hall of fame of my sneakers. When I went to NY I didn’t find them for sale anywhere so now I only put them on to perform this track.”
Alex from HHV (aka Geroe from The Incredible Smells) took the stage last at 6AM to bring the party people to their final dance before hopping on their cycles and pedaling drunkenly home to sleep off the event.
Congratulations and keep up the great work!
written by Dylan Cromwell
videography by Kaddu & Anika Buge
editing by Gregorio Pirolini
music by Kraytr