An in Depth Look Behind the Scenes of Henny Palooza D.C.
When I was assigned to cover the story of Henny Palooza earlier this year I honestly couldn't wait. After hearing so much about the success of this national social gathering I was dying to actually attend and experience it for myself. What followed was a one on one interview with The Godfather of HP Kameron McCullough and two in depth reviews of HP at Webster Hall and Coney Island respectfully. However, I felt like there was something more to the story that wasn't being stated.
What began as an arbitrary inquiry to a "day in the life" of Kam became a prospective documentary slated for December. I followed the HP gang out to DC for Howard Homecoming with my good pal and videographer Karl Lunz to capture what really goes on behind the scenes and what makes Henny Palooza so great.
Kameron McCullough is a brilliant mind that understands the ins and outs of advertisement and promotion. His team of friends and business partners come together in a cumulative effort to put on one of the greatest events across the nation. A lot of hard work and effort goes into the planning, safety, and execution of Henny Palooza and I had the pleasure of sitting down with everyone to find out exactly what goes down. I don't want to give away too much of what I experienced because the documentary will visualize the entire inner machinations of such a popular gathering but I will tell you one thing for sure, it's exhausting. After a long ride down to DC I was immediately called upon to be at the Howard Theater to see how things are set up. Everything has to be on point and Kam was the quarterback at the helm. Sound has to be checked, security has to be briefed, VIP lists were created and in a matter of hours the place was buzzing. Every piece is intricate and necessary in order for things to go off without a hitch. I found myself barely able to stay one step behind Kam as he was constantly moving around to ensure everything was in place. At one point in time Peej, graphic designer and visual extraordinaire, had issues with his Mac Book and had to do his best to get things up and running in time for the show. Chris Stylez was already in go mode as resident host and party starter and the energy already began to intensify and become electric. Between travel, preparation, and execution none of this felt like fun for me and I was just simply observing. There were so many key moments to capture, some of which Karl and I were unable to and there have already been talks of a part 2. I recall Ravie B, who is a dope photographer, telling me "now you see all the hard work that goes into this shit, it ain't easy' which was no lie.
From Kaz to Yo Showtime, (not DJ Showtime he corrected me) to Low Key, to Austin Millz, to Yoo Q, to the Left Coast, everyone had a part to play. No one job was more important than the other and to witness it all first hand was not only breathtaking but a humbling experience as well. I can't count the amount of times I had to thank Kam personally for allowing me to have such an in depth look into an event that I hope goes on for a long time. My biggest takeaway from the entire weekend was that even if HP stopped tomorrow the crew would always remain not only friends but also family. Salute! (Photo credit to Ravie B.)