Art Basel Miami Beach

Questlove Blinded by the (iPhone) Light at Bardot's Basel Finale

Questlove with M1

Sunday, December 6

Better than: Anything starring Jimmy Fallon.

Our tolerance level for pretentious Brooklyn scenesters and celebrity star fuckers reached its boiling point Sunday night. And we're done covering DJ sets. At least this reporter is. 

The Questlove set at Bardot had been hyped all week. It was the last Basel party the Midtown lounge was throwing, and everyone expected Questo to blow shit out of the water.

Perhaps he'd even jump behind a drum kit, drop a beat, and let Dead Prez spit socially conscious rhymes. That would've been dope, but besides the purp stench lingering in the air, nothing about Questlove's mix and M1's MCing got us high.

The Roots' drummer kept shit predictable with a mainstream blend of '90s hip-hop and mid-2000s pop-hop, occasionally sprinkling some early Yo! MTV Raps classics and radio rock remixes. If not for Quest's recognizable face and dirty versions of the songs, last night's set was no different than a Power96 five o'clock traffic jam -- In the MIX!

However, the crowd of white-boy 'fros, blipsters, and barefoot hippie girls were legitimately vibin' heavy with Quest's indiscriminate repertoire of MP3s. Perhaps they felt a connection to the music because it reminded them of their own iPod on shuffle, or their sister's bar mitzvah. We bet at least four exceptionally wealthy young posers in attendance Sunday night convinced their parents to hire Questlove for their sibling's 13th birthday, including the one obnoxious cat that repeatedly stepped on my Chucks, apologizing each time with a fist pump.

The evening's lowest point happened when Questlove took the proverbial needle off the records and grabbed the mic after being temporarily blinded by several iPhone camera flashes. "The light is really bright, " he said. "I want you all to dance, not take photos and shit." It was the first (and only) time he interacted with the crowd in the two-and-a-half hours we spent at Bardot. 

Shit got awkward immediately after that. Two security guards quickly pushed through the crowd and posted-up near Questo's deck. Anyone caught snapping a picture was blinded by the bouncer's flashlight, singled out, and told to stop. At the point, we were ready to leave. 

Perhaps the rest of the Roots could've made last night a little more memorable, and monumental. Even Questo might've had a better time, because he certainly didn't live up to the hype, nor did it seem like he cared to be there.

Still, though, at the end of day, a celebrity DJ dance party is better than watching an episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Critic's Notebook

The Crowd: Hipsters, blipsters, cubsters, and posers.

Overheard in the Crowd: Some drunk dude wearing a plastic Las Vegas poker visor yelled, "Brooklyn! Woo!," then appeared to throw up in his mouth.

Random-ass Genre List:
-Mainstream hip-hop
-Radio rock
-Ironic dance music
-Baby-making soul jams
-Weed-smoking reggae, mon

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Victor Gonzalez
Contact: Victor Gonzalez