More Than A Party: Henny Palooza - Coney Island '17
photo credit: Funny Julius
2016 was a very interesting year for me. It was the launch of our very own OPUS Magazine and the very first time I would be introduced to the man behind Henny Palooza, The God Father, Kameron McCullough. When we sat down back in late January of that year, I had no idea who I was meeting. To be completely honest, dealing with most party promoters/hosts in the past I didn't think there would be much substance. I can go on record and say, boy…was I wrong!
I wasn't just wrong about Kam before we actually met I was also wrong about the importance of Henny Palooza to a lot of people. It's not just a bunch of oversexed, pretentious millennials gathering for free Hennessy. The crowd is made up of mostly college educated black entrepreneurs/professionals looking to just kick back and enjoys a day of relaxation. In the world where representation is KEY, we can't just look at Henny Palooza as just a party anymore. On a whole, we have to look at it as a social economic conglomerate that has opened the doors for its constituents and its fan base. Where else can you go to see the likes of Wale, Pusha T, Cam'Ron, Chance the Rapper, and others for a fraction of what you would pay to see them in concert? You may not see them all in one night but I for one have never seen Cam'Ron perform live until Henny Palooza Coney Island 5/27/2017. Not only is this a great conceptual idea that is still growing it is also an organic small business that has grown exponentially in only 5 years. To put it in perspective imagine starting a small clothing line in your basement and in the next 3-5 years ending up on the runways in Paris. To some that may sound outrageous but in the terms of growth how else could one equate the rise of this event?
HP is nationwide and dare I say it, soon to be a worldwide cultural experience. If "doing it for the culture" is really a thing this event is the epitome of cultural advancement. The makeup of the team for one is diverse, two, the audience is not only multi-faceted but when traveling the globe it becomes multicultural. Finally, the things that tie it all together are alcohol and music. People love to drink, people love to dance, and people love to socialize. Putting all walks of life in one venue in one accord, harmoniously singing together off key to R&B is symbolic of the world we want to live in one day. I may be waxing poetically for a bit, but that sentiment, that energy is a key part of the Henny Palooza experience. The more I attend, speak to the people, and break bread with Kam I have become personally inspired to do even greater things.
Another thing of note, Henny Palooza was built on a foundation of friendship. Forget the money the lights the excitement for just one second. There was a moment on stage where LowKey addressed Kam as not only his friend but also his brother. This moment, like all the others, happens on center stage where the team gathers on stage in support of one another for a job well done. How many of us were in the crowd with friends that are like brothers and sisters to us? How many of us were out there with actual family members celebrating a birthday or a pending graduation? Yes, this is a party, but how many parties get boring and get old before their time? I look forward to HP's pending 5th Year Anniversary celebration and I know a lot of you will be too. Kam tweeted he doesn't think he could top Cam'Ron performing Live In Coney Island. This writer begs to differ and hopes that he can.