Class of ’99, Vol. 15

Juice @ HOB

Rave culture and club culture were two different, parallel scenes with some important distinctions:

  • Raves were an under-21 affair, and clubs were mostly off-limits to teenagers, with a few exceptions (Dock Five, Shelter, and the original Juice).
  • Raves were largely non-commercial. After the door price (usually 20 bucks, tops), there might be a booth inside selling mix tapes, but that was about it. Clubs, on the other hand, ran promos on B96 and had ads over their urinals featuring women in bikinis hawking menthol cigarettes.
  • Ravers pretended to be against drinking. I don’t think this was actually the case, but while it was a drug culture, alcohol was not central to the scene—whereas clubs were always about getting drunk.
  • Raves were actually exclusive. Clubs tried to cater to a specific scene and clientele, but they were generally pretty easy for anyone to find and were always full of weird gold diggers and pickup artists.

While “rave” had a very specific connotation, “club culture” was more nebulous and meant different things to different people. As in NYC, Chicago had its own “club kid” culture which overlapped heavily with the rave scene, and featured a lot of “outlaw parties” which were basically just raves with a gayer, slightly older clientele. In Chicago, the king of the club kids was Jojo Baby.

Jojo Baby
Photo credit: 5mag

Jojo was always there, both familiar and unrecognizable. Usually, he was at the front door of the party, and while he was clearly a club kid and not a raver, he always made the rounds in the rave circuit. By day, he was a hairdresser at this salon off the Belmont red line called Milo’s Hair Studio. Raver girls loved this specific A-cut where their hair was long in the front, and all spiky and blown-out in the back, and many swore that only Jojo knew how to cut it properly. He had an art studio in Wicker Park’s Flat Iron building, where he designed these creepy, lifelike dolls using body parts from animals and human cadavers.

Jojo passed away earlier this year, after suffering multiple forms of cancer. This month’s mix focuses on the clubbier side of house music, and Volume 15 is dedicated to the late Jojo baby, the ultimate Chicago club kid.

Class of ’99, Volume 15: Tony Humphries’ Guest List
Download the mix (MP3, 44 minutes, 101 MB)

About the cover

This is a still from the movie Kids, which I’ve mentioned multiple times in this series and which provides most of its background images. This scene is shot at NASA, a very important piece of American rave history.

Track List

Follow these links to read more about the selections:

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