As we’ve been trying to showcase on Celebitchy, among all the scary and uncertain (and downright infuriating) events surrounding this global crisis, many of those in the celebrity realm are finding ways to make self-isolation more pleasant for everyone. Josh Gad is still doing #GadsBookClub. The list of musicians who have joined the #TogetherAtHome concerts is growing, including Neil Diamond who changed the words to Sweet Caroline to promote social distancing no-touching procedures:
Stay safe out there! “Hands… washing hands..” 🎶 pic.twitter.com/QaRB1qZshp
— Neil Diamond (@NeilDiamond) March 22, 2020
I’m doing my best to catch Live events as they are happening. For me, there is a special feeling knowing that I am experiencing the event along with so many other people across the globe at that moment.
And OMG did we have a moment on Saturday afternoon.
DJ D-Nice, aka Derrick Jones, may not need an introduction to most. But in case you haven’t heard the name before now, D-Nice started his career with the hip-hop group Boogie Down Productions (BDP). He has since gone on to be one of the most in-demand DJs while still producing and rapping. One week ago, D-Nice started spinning music from his home and streaming it on Instagram Live. He called the sessions Homeschool. He continued to go live each day, with more and more of his famous friends popping in to say hello and boost the party’s popularity. Each day, D-Nice gave thanks for those who’d already swung by, posted the time of his next party and asked us to spread the word. On Saturday, Homeschool became Homeschool: Club Quarantine with over 100K people showing up for what became a nine hour dance party and was attended by the Who’s Who of everything.
For the Saturday session, streamed from his high-rise apartment in downtown Los Angeles, more than 100,000 people tuned in to listen from all around the world.
During his nine-hour-plus set, boldfaced names including Barack Hussein Obama, Michelle Obama, Quincy Jones, Halle Berry, Common, Janet Jackson, Tiffany Haddish, Patti LaBelle, Reverend Al Sharpton, Steph Curry, Naomi Campbell, Missy Elliott, Joe Biden, Bethann Hardison, Rihanna, Jermaine Dupri, John Legend, Bernie Sanders, Kardinal Official, Kimberly Nichole, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, Lee Daniels, LL Cool J, Sophia Chang, Mark Zuckerberg, June Ambrose, Lennox Lewis, Gabrielle Union, Teddy Riley, Khloe Kardashian, Heather Hunter, Bevy Smith and Nile Rodgers made their presence known to the former Boogie Down Productions rapper/producer as he rocked the wheels of steel nonstop and shouted them out.
“Homeschool was a simple idea that was just a way to take my mind off of Coronavirus and the quarantine,” D-Nice, whose real name is Derrick Jones, told The Root on Sunday. “As someone in the nightlife and lifestyle events industry, the cancellations have made a major impact not only on finances but on people’s spirit as a whole. What I have always known is that music is powerful and has the ability to bring people together, so this was an opportunity for me to marry my passion and purpose together to help lift spirits.”
Other folks who dropped into the jam session were both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. It was truly something else to see all the folks reaching out in that moment, both blue checkmarks and not. As promised, after spinning for nine hours on Saturday, D-Nice turned around and did it all again on Sunday. I was listening when he saw that Warren G had joined the party and he transitioned immediately to a Warren G song after giving him a shout out. I loved the whole thing. The music was fantastic, and the camaraderie was even better. Following his Sunday party, he turned things over to Questlove for QuestLoversRock, which was a set of slow jams to take us into the evening (which made me think of Venus Flytrap for those of you who watched WKRP).
Honestly, this is the best face of human kindness in these times. I mean, obviously those on the front lines – including grocery/retail workers trying to keep us fed and teachers working with our kids – deserve a huge amount of credit. But those who fall outside those categories, finding a way to use their talents to bring us together in this dark hour, it’s uplifting. Yesterday I, saw D-Nice’s response come up on my IG wall and it touched me in a way I didn’t expect. With outlets like CNN and The New Yorker holding him up as the hero of the hour (not to mention Oprah, Michelle Obama and Jemele Hill doing the same,) D-Nice wrote this beautiful post to thank us for making the event that happened happen. Keep an eye on his IG to find out the next Homeschool: Club Quarantine session. It is very much worth your time:
View this post on Instagram
I had a tearful moment this morning after realizing that we all came together as a global community and danced while I played music in my living room. It was beautiful to experience and I’m truly humbled by the amount of love I’ve received. Thank you to everyone that supported me on this journey. Let’s continue to uplift each other as we get thru this dark time. #gratitude 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 #DNiceHomeSchool #ClubQuarantine • art by @chuckstyless
Photo credit: Getty Images and Instagram