Y'all think you've had fun before? Try spending a Sunday afternoon at a Body Count music video shoot in Brooklyn. And then ending the day in a street brawl.
After rolling out of bed at 2pm, hungover and thirsty, my roommates reminded me that Ice T would be in our neighborhood that afternoon, and that he had invited his fans to come out to The Morgan, a small venue in Bushwick that intermittently hosts moshcore shows and DJ nights. Ice tweeted, “WARNING: Everyone coming to the 'Body Count' video shoot TODAY This is a Hard Core video. At your own risk. VERY violent PIT.” As the internet flier said you could not wear band t-shirts to the free event, probably due to intellectual property concerns, my roommates and I struggled to find articles of clothing that did not have band names on them, and then walked over.
After waiting in a fairly small line for a couple of hours, with trips to the bar, several beer runs, a Phrosties delivery (if you live in the Tri-State Area and do not know what Phrosties are, check them on Instagram), and many, many photo opportunities with Ice T and Coco, the bouncer eventually began letting in the enthusiastic crowd, which consisted of a big crew of day drunk New York punks, the Zulu Nation (including South Bronx breakbeat innovator Afrika Bambaataa), and a handful of fat hardcore guys presumably from Long Island.
Body Count was shooting the music video for a new track from their forthcoming album Manslaughter on Sumerian Records, their first release since 2006's Murder for Hire. The song was great, and reminiscent of old school Body Count classics like “Cop Killer,” “There Goes The Neighborhood,” and “Body Count's In The House.” It was a surreal and hilarious experience being in a room full of people going off so hard for a video shoot, i.e. for a song being repeatedly played from the record over the PA, rather than by a live band. Throughout the countless stage dives, a scene including a choreographed circle pit whose first take ended in a dog pile, and hours of slam dancing and hard pitting, most people there had enormous grins on their faces for the entire afternoon. One of the funnier moments was when a former 285 Kent bartender and another lady tried to twerk on Ice T on stage, as he pushed them away with Coco looking on from the back of the room.
Ray Dryburgh, lead singer of New York's most ignorant young hardcore band Goosebumps, undoubtedly pitted the hardest during the shoot, including a ridiculous dive from a speaker straight onto the stage. “They're the best American rock n' roll band of all time. Body Count rules. Best day of my life.”
The last take of the day ended prematurely, as some pit beef quickly turned into a fist fight between myself and another attendee. After I was unable to find my Yankees hat once the room was cleared out, I picked up a Subway Series (Mets vs. Yankees) hat that had been left behind by someone else. The dude I got in a fight with and I mean mugged each other on the street outside of the shoot for a minute, until we realized we were each wearing each other's headwear. We traded the hats back, exchanged some words, and then got in a much more intense fight with many more people involved.
Body Count's in the house.
Reed Dunlea is the host of Distort Jersey City on WFMU.