As we've been reporting for months now, the Milky Way isn't closing, it's moving into swank new digs just a few blocks from its longstanding Jamaica Plain nook. And Boston dance-floor instigators Knife and Tommee aren't migrating back to the frozen Buffalo front from which they came — they'll continue rocking at the relocated Milky Way, as well as at the Alchemist, Good Life, and just about every other fresh spot where (beer) bottles pop and asses drop.
But as the DJ duo move on, they plan to leave behind Marinate — Boston's longest-running hip-hop night. So hundreds of people swelled Hyde Square's legendary haunt for the event's final incarnation. It didn't matter that the party is the Jay-Z of Beantown rap revelry, having been retired several times only to return in triumph. The more Marinate, the tastier — so heads who were dedicated enough and/or drunk enough waited in a Studio 54–esque line for a bite of action.
"I'm not going anywhere near that door," Tommee told me after I finally name-dropped my way downstairs to avoid the icy queue, leaving behind my date and a small flock of frigid friends. "I'm getting so many people calling me from the line that I'm almost afraid to go out there," Knife added before sashaying upstairs to greet several dozen regulars whom he's met since starting Marinate six years ago.
In the end, everyone got in, and everyone got drunk — especially Knife. The room was filled with love and nostalgia; while I thuggishly rhymed all the words to "Juicy," a chick told me I had toilet paper stuck to my right sneaker.
Team Marinate bumped beats across the genres, but in classic Knife and Tommee fashion, they anchored the evening in gloriously corny and compelling boom-bap staples, from "Shook Ones," "T.R.O.Y.," and "Get Money" to "Award Tour," "Rump Shaker" and "Set a Drift on Memory Bliss."
According to Marinate regular Petro, who asked to be quoted anonymously, "When this party started off, it was like seven dudes in the room with Knife playing the same records over and over. No doubt it came a long way to be the best hip-hop night in Boston."