French duo Justice made an appearance Thursday night in New York City as the surprise headliners of Frank Ocean’s Prep+ launch party.
Taking place at Basement, Knockdown Center’s underground venue, the event was the first in a series of queer club nights described as an “homage to what could have been of the 1980s’ NYC club scene if the drug PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) — which can be taken daily to prevent HIV/AIDS for those who are not infected but are at high risk — had been invented in that era.”
The event advertised a no-photos/video policy, but clips (and, of course, many tweets) trickled through social media channels throughout the night, especially during Justice’s set. Some attendees reported that the Frenchmen performed a brief back-to-back set with Ocean while others sounded the alarm on possible new Ocean music, including a potential Justice collaboration. Other DJs on Prep+’s debut lineup included Soulection affiliate Sango and British selector Sherelle.
Despite the initial buzz of Justice’s presence, criticism of the party’s booking also made the media rounds. Local DJ/producer Sxylk told The FADER, “Justice was everything, but the party was lacking in actual queer underground DJs. Brooklyn is becoming the new Portland and industry heavyweights should run in the opposite direction.”
Brooklyn DJ/producer Lauren Flax shared her own mixed feelings on Twitter, saying that while she “adore[s]” Ocean and the party’s concept, booking straight, cis, white men like Justice to headline a party for a queer crowd “completely missed the mark.”
Another DJ from Brooklyn, Mike Servito, agreed with Flax: “It’s like, do it right or don’t do it AT ALL. this sh*t is too important,” he wrote. “You can be mad famous and still connect the dots and be chic and be tasteful and really turn a kids ear on some real sh*t with feeling and emotion and conviction.”