Inside the Global Rise of Lauded Hip-Hop Party D’ussé Palooza

The event recently drew 9,000 to Barclays Center

D’ussé Palooza
Dancing at D’ussé Palooza at Barclays Center.
@RavieB/D’ussé Palooza

Musical trajectories don’t normally lead from basements to arenas; maybe for a select few punk bands that developed a massive following, but they’re the exception rather than the rule. Now, Aaron Randle at The New York Times has a report on another basement-to-arena success story: the beloved hip-hop party known as D’ussé Palooza, which recently drew 9,000 people to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

The party’s website lists the other cities where they’ve held events in the last year, including Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New Orleans. It’s an impressive status for a party that began with a 50-person house party in Harlem — and which now has a partnership with Jay-Z’s record label, Roc Nation.

That partnership led to the party being sponsored by D’ussé, a cognac partially owned by Jay-Z. He’s not the only high-profile name associated with the party, either; the Times report lists some of the other well-known attendees: 

…the N.B.A. star Kevin Durant and the New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, music industry luminaries like the New York radio hosts Charlamagne Tha God and Ebro Darden, sports journalists like Bomani Jones of ESPN and Jemele Hill of The Atlantic, and the hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper.

The goal of the party? To create what Randle describes in his article as an “egalitarian ethos” — one where a high-profile party can eschew bottle service or VIP sections, and focus on the music and interpersonal interactions. And to date, it’s worked — demonstrating that a back-to-basics aesthetic can resonate on a massive scale, with even more global stages to come.  

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