voguing is one of the last great American subcultures (i-D)
There’s a certain energy in the air when a party is truly lit — when every element of the complex social chemistry fuses perfectly, the outside world dissipates, and the room collectively elevates to a higher vibrational plane. Disco DJ David Mancuso, who presided over New York’s first underground dance party The Loft, compared this feeling to an airplane taking off on a runway. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, you can feel liquid adrenaline coursing through the atmosphere like jet fuel, burning as it licks your skin.
It took no time at all for “Atlanta is Burning” — a vogue ball thrown by LGBTQ party crews Morph and Southern Fried Queer Pride (SFQP) in collaboration with Red Bull Music — to hit this feverish peak. On a chilly November evening, hundreds of colorful club kids draped in glitter, sequins, and fur poured into an industrial freight depot in downtown Atlanta. After performers like Cakes Da Killa and Divoli S'vere spat bars over blistering ballroom beats, headliner Leikeli47 stormed the stage. “This shit is a girl blunt! I only smoke girl blunts!” the Brooklyn MC chanted over skittering 808 drums, a white bandana wrapped around her entire face. When she raised her arms triumphantly, the crowd exploded in a deafening roar as the air crackled electric, and I was consumed by that familiar feeling of liftoff.