NEW MIX! 4 MILLION IQ + PERTH SHOW!

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The wait is over! It’s been two years since 2 Million IQ came out and now 4 Million IQ is here! The wait was so long that the mix developed extra IQ!

The IQ mix series is a collection of triumphant young raps and emotional thug music, hosted by Doctor Professor Wavey Davey B. Each mix has been certified by Mensa co-signed by Stephen Hawking! 4 Million IQ also features the mixtape debut of my son Archie, who spits hot fire in the outro!

Increase your intelligence today and download 4 Million IQ!

TRACKLIST
WAVEY DAVEY B intro
YOUNG THUG & MIGOS yrn
KWONY CASH feat FUTURE numbers
NEW ARA loud
LIL’ SILK ride the beat
PEEWEE LONGWAY feat YOUNG THUG know about me
FUTURE side effects
YOUNG THUG picture baby
K CAMP feat KWONY CASH money baby
RICH KIDZ more
MIGOS so real
STUEY ROCK feat FUTURE them bandz
KWONY CASH 5050
TRIGG DA KIDD feat TRAVIS PORTER stoners night
SICKO MOBB fiesta
SOULJA BOY ridin round
D DASH feat TRAVIS PORTER dance for me
LIL’ DURK act like that
RICH HOMIE QUAN stop breathing
STUEY ROCK feat FUTURE anyway
ALLEY BOY feat TY DOLLA $IGN rngm
ARCHIE LEVINS outro

If you don’t like watching the sequel without seeing the OG first make sure you download 1 Million IQ and 2 Million IQ! Warning: listening to all 3 mixes in a row will increase your IQ to potentially dangerous levels!

I made 4 Million IQ to celebrate my return to Perth this weekend. I’ll be playing Chocolate Jesus on Saturday night with my yung lion bro Aslan aka Ask Keogh in the Building. Check out this amazing artwork:

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Perth pals: prepare for 5 hours of brain straining triumphance! Enjoy the mix!

 

10 HORRIBLE 90s DANCE CRAZES

Originally posted on Two Thousand.

Goodgod goes totally 90s this Sunday night for The Rhythm Of the Night! With an all star lineup across the entire venue from 9pm – playing 90s rap and RnB classix in the front bar and nothing but 90s dance anthems out the back. Featuring DJs Levins, Captain Franco, Nacho Pop, Ariane, Lux Comms, CSMNT61 (Motorik), Del, McKinley and Batesy. In anticipation, Levins put together some youtube clips and commented on them hilariously – ten horrible 90s dance crazes that are welcome to make their comeback this Sunday night at Goodgod.

1. The Hammer Dance

I’m putting this one first because the best way to do the Hammer dance is while wearing Hammer pants – so this is your chance to run out and buy a pair before Sunday. I’m sure you can still get them at Target.


2. The Las Ketchup

Latin fever was high on the charts in the late nineties – from Ricky Martin’s Cup of Life to Shakira’s small and humble breasts – but nothing featured a dance as infectious as this incredbly forgettable number one hit. Oh wait, except that one song…


3. The Macarena

Still the absolute highlight of every Moby Disc DJ’s wedding set, The Macarena dance moves are forever burned into the brains of every single person who spent even one second in the 90s.


4. The Rump Shaker

Anyone can shake their rump but you get bonus points if you do it while playing a saxaphone and wearing a bikini.


5. The Hamsterdance

The instructions for doing the Hamsterdance are vague at best – “stomp your feet” is almost immediately followed by “you don’t even have to move your feet” – but this high pitched, crudely drawn piece of shit captured the hearts of the entire world.


6. The Jiggy

This one is easier to do while staring into a camera the entire time, barely moving your lower body. Don’t get ahead of yourself and whip your hair back and forth! If anyone bumps into you while getting jiggy, feel free to punch them in the face and shout “welcome to earth!”.


7. 5, 6, 7, 8

Almost as big as the latin dance pop craze was the now thankfully forgotten country dance pop craze. Steps may have been a million times more easy on the eye than Rednex, but the infectious lyrics of 5, 6, 7, 8 are no less haunting than Cotton Eyed Joe. They almost made line dancing cool again except of course they fucking didn’t.


8. Stop Right Now, Thank You Very Much

The Spice Girls needed somebody with a human touch in 1998 and this song helped people all over the world slow it down baby and have some fun with these easy to learn dance moves. This was the Spice Girls’ last single but their first song with dance moves attached to it. If you’re looking for something to blame for the Spice Girls break up, look no further than this dance.


9. The Bartman

Was this song and dance the best or worst thing The Simpsons was responsible for in the early 90s? Do people still carry this song around on their walkman to hijack otherwise boring dance recitals?


10. The Carlton

If enough people bring candles will we be prepared to play Tom Jones just so everybody can do the Carlton. We might even install a staircase for the full effect.


OTHER DANCES WELCOME THIS SUNDAY INCLUDE: The Urkel DanceThe TrainThe Humpty DanceThe Achy Breaky HeartThe Tootsie RollDa DipVogueing.

NEW MIX – HALFWAY CROOKS 5TH BDAY – ALL SOUTHERN HITS!

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Halfway Crooks – the rap party I run with my compadres Elston and Captain Franco – is turning 5 years old this weekend!

We are celebrating with a PLAYERS CRUISE on Saturday – but why not celebrate before the weekend with this hot mix!

This is a celebration of the last five years of Halfway Crooks. When we started the party in 2009, Franco was the East Coast rap guy, Elston played mostly West Coast and I was the king of the South. So for our birthday, Franco has made an East Coast mix, Elston’s mix is all West Coast and I have attempted to put as many of the biggest Southern rap anthems from the last 5 years in one hour long mix. It was hard.

Please turn this one up and punch the air for the entire 60 minutes. I’ve never made an all-whoppers mix before. There’s barely a moment to breathe in between each anthem.

Shout out to Rowan Dix aka Joyride who randomly emailed me a handful of terrifically awful drops a few weeks ago. I threw most of them on this mix.

If you’re in Sydney this weekend come cruise with us, it’s gonna be incredible. Tickets are still available here.

HALFWAY CROOKS 5TH BDAY MIX – ALL SOUTHERN HITS!
HOSTED BY ROWAN DIX

Tracklist:

BIG BOI you ain’t no dj
LIL’ WAYNE six foot seven foot
LUDACRIS feat GUCCI MANE shake and fries
GUCCI MANE feat PLIES wasted (remix)
RICK ROSS feat DRAKE & FRENCH MONTANA stay schemin’
LIL’ WAYNE feat YOUNG MONEY every girl
DJ KHALED feat LIL’ WAYNE, RICK ROSS & DRAKE i’m on one
DJ KHALED feat LUDACRIS all i do is win
PLIES plenty money
RICH KIDZ patna dem
YOUNG JEEZY feat LIL’ WAYNE ballin
WAKA FLOCKA FLAME hard in the paint
WAKA FLOCKA FLAME feat DRAKE round of applause
WAKA FLOCKA FLAME grove st. party
RICK ROSS b.m.f.
JUICY J who da neighbours
2 CHAINZ spend it
MIGOS hanna montana
RICK ROSS feat FUTURE ring ring
FUTURE you deserve it
CA$H OUT cashin out
ROSCOE DASH featurin TRAVIS PORTER all the way turnt up
TRAVIS PORTER make it rain
SOULJA BOY feat GUCCI MANE pretty boy swag (remix)
YOUNG DRO fdb
BIRDMAN feat DRAKE & LIL’ WAYNE money to blow
FUTURE turn on the lights
JUICY J bands a make her dance
BIG KRIT feat LUDACRIS country shit (remix)
GUCCI MANE & WAKA FLOCKA FLAME ferrari boyz
ACE HOOD feat FUTURE bugatti
YOUNG THUG danny glover
LIL’ WAYNE feat FUTURE good kush & alcohol
GUCCI MANE hell yes

UPDATE #1: Franco just put his East Coast mix up! Elston’s West Coast mix will be up soon!

Halfway Crooks 5th Bday – East Coast Jams by Captain Franco on Mixcloud

UPDATE #2: Elston’s West Coast Mix is up too!

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HALFWAY CROOKS TURNS 5!

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Halfway Crooks is five years old!

Come celebrate five years of rap, dancing and whoppers in the middle of the ocean with your friendly skipper Levins, loveable cabin boy Elston and of course good old Captain Franco.

The Halfway Crooks 5th Birthday Players Cruise
Saturday 5th April
4pm – 8pm
Leaving King St Wharf at 4pm on the dot
w/ DJs Levins, Franco & Elston
Tickets $30 (and includes entry to Halfway Crooks at Phoenix after the cruise!)

Voyage with us through space and rhyme across the seven seas!

Tickets are super limited and available here.

Don’t miss out on the splashiest event of the year, get your crew together and buy a ticket ASAP!

RSVP on Facebook too!

THE FIVE BEST RAP CLIPS SET ON BOATS

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Originally posted on You Only Live Once.

Halfway Crooks, the monthly rap party I started with Franco and Elston, is FIVE YEARS OLD next week! That’s old as fuck in club night years!

We’re celebrating in a major way by putting on a PLAYERS CRUISE on a motherfuckin’ BOAT next weekend. It’s everything you love about Halfway Crooks except in the middle of the stupid ocean!

To help get you in the wavy mood, here’s a list of my five favourite rap videos that feature rappers on boats.

T.W.D.Y. - Player’s Holiday
Player’s Holiday makes the top of the list because within 5 seconds of the song starting, someone has already sprayed a bottle of champagne off the deck into the water. Plus this clip actually looks like a party I’d like to be at, everyone looks like they’re having a nice time (hanting), probably due to the fact that the president has got rid of the player haters. I wish Player’s Holiday was an actual public holiday.


Young Bleed featuring C-Loc & Master P – How Ya Do Dat
This one makes the list for the sheer amount of people they crammed on their yacht. You’ve got a handful of No Limit All Stars and some dudes from C-Loc’s Concentration Camp crew and then like 100 girls just wylin’ out in bikinis. File this one under: using a yacht correctly.


Big Tymers featuring Boo & Gotti – Oh Yeah!
Just one of many perfect Cash Money clips (the key to a truly great Cash Money clip is to give Mannie Fresh as much screen time as possible), Oh Yeah! opens with a hilarious Cribs pisstake called This Is Where I Lay At before revealing a big ass yacht complete with the Big Tymers logo and Ca$h Money flags. And heaps of chicks, obviously. What makes this rap yacht different to all other rap yachts is that it is equipped with hyperdrive, meaning Mannie can take his crew to Hawaii or Alaska in a matter of seconds, all thanks to a hilariously dated operating system. Bonus points for censoring ‘hoes’ with the ship’s bell.


2 Chainz – I’m Different
Tity Boi proves he’s different by not even putting his boat in the water! The whole clip is just him looking comfy in a boat that’s being driven down a long stretch of highway. There’s a bit of a “when are they gonna get to the fireworks factory” vibe as you watch 2 Chainz’s boat get really close to the water but the b.o.a.t. never f.l.o.a.t.s.


Jay-Z featuring UGK – Big Pimpin’
Probably the most famous rappers on boats film clip (ok maybe second to Biggie’s Hypnotize), the ginormous yacht that Jay-Z flaunts his money on for his verse is almost crazy enough to distract from the lame clean version of his rap. Bun B and Pimp C never recorded clean versions of their raps, maybe this is why Hov didn’t invite them on his yacht?

BONUS CLIP: RAP BOAT – THE RAPPING BOAT!


I dare you to not watch this five times in a row.

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Halfway Crooks 5th Birthday Players Cruise sets sail on the 5th April.

Buy Tickets here!

LOCKOUTS AND FUCKWITS

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Yesterday morning NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell announced a set of new laws for Sydney’s pubs and clubs to abide by. Brought in to target “alcohol-fuelled violence”, these laws include a new 1:30AM lockout and a ban on selling alcohol after 3am.

Knowing how much this would affect not just me but everyone I work with at Goodgod Small Club and my countless other friends who work as DJs, club promoters or in hospitality, I quickly opened Twitter to find that everything I wanted to yell had already been yelled 500 times. I threw some of the better responses a favourite or a like and called a few friends to discuss how badly these new laws would affect us. 3 discussions later and every social media feed I had open had a million new posts from friends outraged at the Premier’s decision, not just because of the effects it would have on their lifestyles, but because of how alienated by the decision they felt. Why hadn’t anybody who represented their voice been consulted before the decision was made?

Earlier in the week I read an article by David Penberthy. Two lines from this article stuck with me:

It appears to be mandatory to describe the random, mindless violence we have seen in pubs and on footpaths around the nation as “alcohol-fuelled” violence. I hate this term.

A more appropriate term would be scumbag-fuelled violence, as the focus on alcohol lets the scumbags off the hook.

With what David said in mind, I blessed the internet with a trio of zingers.

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With the extent of my wit out in the webosphere, I continued my day, absolutely not checking my phone every 30 seconds for favourites, retweets and likes.

At 10pm a friend let me know that my face was on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald website. Underneath the heading “Thousand sign petition against ‘draconian’ drink laws”, I was the first name referenced in an article focused on the reactions of ‘young partygoers’. My “Don’t Be A Fuckwit’ campaign tweet was written as if the paper had called me for a quote and that was what I had decided to give them, which I absolutely saw the funny side to, so I shared the article right away. 100 likes later and I realised that I might soon need to clarify that I wasn’t actually a part of the movement who had started a petition against the new laws, nor had I ever used the word ‘draconian’ in my lifetime.

I called my Dad to let him know that in tomorrow’s paper his son had been quoted saying the word ‘fuckwit’ and went to bed.

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I woke up the next morning to an insane amount of notifications on my phone. Who needs an alarm when you know you have a social media shitstorm to address! The comments on my personal Facebook page were all positive, a given considering that 80% of my friends are involved in the music industry in some way. Over on the SMH Facebook page was another story, with people singling me out as the poster boy for an entire campaign against the Premier’s new laws. Some people pointed out the flaws in my “Don’t Be A Fuckwit” campaign, while others pointed out the flaws in my face. Later that day I realised that my own Facebook page was open for the entire universe to see and comment on after a handful of strangers did exactly that, telling me that they were laughing heartily at anyone complaining about the new laws (my response: “Don’t be a fuckwit”) and making me realise why those privacy settings exist. Back at the SMH Facebook page a lovely woman commented that “After viewing Mr Levins FB I note that he is reading the comments left and is less than happy with some of them. My advice Mr Levins is if you don’t want people to comment on your views then don’t talk to journalists.”

What was funny about the whole ordeal is that all I had done was put up a few zingers on Twitter. Nobody had contacted me to comment on the new laws and I hadn’t offered anything resembling an opinion online beyond the zingers. People I didn’t know were either praising me or shaming me (mostly the latter) for leading a movement that I wasn’t really a part of. It was a weird reminder of the overhyped media frenzy that lead to these new laws being pushed upon us.

The Herald story was updated today, making it much clearer that all the opinions within were taken directly from social media (although ‘draconian’ still haunts my paragraph) and a few excellent articles have been published elsewhere that show a much more level headed take on the reactions from those affected by the new laws.

My good friends and co-workers Jimmy, Hana and Adam put together this piece for Faster Louder, which speaks out against the proposed laws while highlighting what a unique and special place Goodgod Small Club is: “Goodgod was started to provide an answer to the problems with Sydney’s nightlife culture. Barry O’Farrell’s laws don’t just fail to address these issues, but their broad, one-size-fits-all nature also pose a serious threat to solutions like us. They compromise our ability to deliver on our ethos of creating an iconic Sydney club, where music is celebrated and music lovers can enthusiastically party in a welcoming and safe environment.

I was interviewed for this article on artsHub alongside some other kool figures from Sydney’s nightlife which features comparisons to Melbourne’s recent failed lock in laws, official statistics that show the decline of non-domestic assaults in Sydney and me saying: “Some of my favourite memories in the last decade have happened at 4am in the morning.”

I’m sure that in the next few weeks I’ll put together a more succinct response to the proposed laws, especially as the laws become less ‘proposed’ and more ‘career ending’. Who knows, maybe my ‘Don’t Be A Fuckwit’ campaign will actually take off, hopefully with Sam Kekovich as its spokesperson. I just hope everyone outside of the scene affected by these new laws thinks about the music and culture that will be lost before they join in congratulating the government for making a rash decision that won’t actually stop any violence. 

My thoughts go out to the families of the two boys who were killed as a result of an angry attack and while I sincerely hope no further attacks occur, these new laws are not the right way to go about making a change.

Follow me on Twitter, hopefully more of my tweets will make the news and you’ll be able to read tomorrow’s headlines today!

The proposed laws supposedly don’t come into play until February, luckily I have a party organised for this Sunday night if anyone wants to come down and dance. I recommend taking advantage of this weekend and going to as many parties as possible as clubhopping will soon be a forgotten concept, like planking.

Thanks so much for reading this. It took me a long time. It’s 2:30am right now. I’d have a nightcap but I’m afraid I won’t be able to get in anywhere.

EVERY MIX I MADE IN 2013

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People have been saying some wildly negative things about 2013 on social media in the last month. There’s even a NYE party in Georgia called #Fuck2013, which boasts free drinks all night and “everything u need”, according to @Osama_BinFuckin on Twitter.

But you won’t catch me pounding free alcopops at #Fuck2013 this year. Flights to Riverdale were just too expensive and more importantly, I loved 2013. Bianca and I got married this year, went on two huge holidays and have spent the last few months awaiting the birth of our first son (our number one name for him so far is Osama BinFuckin).

“Good for you, dickhead! My 2013 sucked! I got divorced, smoked two packets of holidays and my son hates me!” I hear you man, and I’m sorry to hear that. Maybe one of these eight mixes I made this year will cheer you up.


 

THE SOUNDTRACK 2 DA WEDDING

We went all out for our wedding in April, spending the three months beforehand making decorations, desserts and dresses that added a personal touch to our big day. We wanted our friends to take home something once the wedding was over, so I made an activity book and a mix which we gave to all our guests.

The mix is a collection of dorky love songs that we have both been obsessed with over the five years we’ve been together. Songs we yell at each other in the car or have forced our friends to listen to at 5 in the morning.


CRISP FOREVER

I made this mix for Vanishing Elephant and it’s probably the best mix from start to finish that I’ve ever made. Highly emotional r&b and rap. Some good grinding anthems. The intro is me being a dickhead with the intro from Rick Ross’s Rich Forever mixtape.

DO THE DIP VOLUME 2

Our restaurant The Dip turned two this year! This mix is a follow up to Do The Dip Volume 1, made in 2012 when The Dip turned one. This is the opposite of the low tempo vibes on Crisp Forever. Do The Dip Volume 2 is nothing but upbeat club rap, the kinda tunes we blast in the kitchen when we’re busy. There’s a tonne of DJ Mustard on here.

THE LAST LOVE KINGS

Love Kings, the semi-regular R&B night that I ran with Radge over the last three years, had its last hurrah in August this year, just before Radge moved overseas. This mix is a few new R&B songs I was feeling with a lot of R&B hits from the last couple of years that were felt very deeply at Love Kings. This is my most listened to mix ever! I should end my parties more often.

This is a bigger and better sequel to my 2011 Love Kings Mix.

KOOL DAD FM by Levins on Mixcloud

KOOL DAD FM

And now, my least listened to mix ever, mostly due to the fact that Soundcloud won’t let it stay on their site because of the Kenny Rogers song at the beginning. Kool Dad FM was made for Fathers Day and is a tribute to Dad Rock! A grip of rock classics perfect for blaring out of your car with the windows down. I’m really proud of this mix and it was crazy hard timestretching half these songs so they mixed with each other. I lose sleep over how few people have listened to this. You can download it here, please burn it for your Dad.

WAMP WAMP RETURNS
Wamp Wamp was a party that I ran with my pal Kato in 2007, at the height of everyone’s obsession with subgenres like Baltimore Club, Crunk and Baile Funk. We brought the party back in November with our Melbourne buddy Tranter coming up for a set too. The three of us teamed up for this throwback mix, each putting together a 20 minute mix full of the best of 2007’s genres with silly names.

HALFWAY CROOKS x HOOPS BEST OF 2013

Another team up! This time for the Halfway Crooks & Hoops Xmas party at Goodgod (which was last weekend and was incredible!). The Wamp Wamp mix was 3 DJs putting together 20 minute mixes, this mix is 6 DJs putting together 10 minutes mixes! Anna Lunoe, Nina Las Vegas, Bad Ezzy, Captain Franco, Elston and me, throwing down a quick mix featuring some of our favourite songs of 2013. Hosted by Google Text 2 Speech, the hottest MC of the year.

GOODGOD NYE PROM HITS

My 8th and final mix of 2013 is a mix I made to promote the crazy concept of the Goodgod NYE Prom, a party that’s an 80’s Homecoming Prom in the front and a Jiggy 2001 Year 10 Formal out the back. The mix is half 80’s soul and half early 2000’s R&B. It’s some smooth listening and acts as a taste of the smoothness you can expect at Goodgod on New Years Eve! Buy yourself a ticket to the prom here.

There you go! Eight mixes in one year! A personal best, even if you take out the collaborative mixes (which you shouldn’t, because they’re great!). Please share these with everyone you know who likes kool music and I’ll try to make even more mixes in 2014.

Let me know which mix is your favourite and which mix you’d like a sequel to in the comments! I promise that 4 MILLION IQ, the long awaited sequel to 1 MILLION IQ and 2 MILLION IQ, will drop early next year. Thanks for listening!

WRECENT WRITINGS

A recipe I wrote for Sopaipillas with Fried Chicken got put up on the Thump website with a cute lil’ interview.

I submitted some of my favourite take out spots in Sydney for this tasty article on YOLO.

I made a playlist of my favourite Waka Flocka Flame songs just in time for him to cancel (“postpone”) his Australian tour.

Cool!

THE BBQ BELT: NORTH CAROLINA

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Originally posted on You Only Live Once.

“NORTH CAROLINA! C’MON AND RAISE UP! TAKE YOUR SHIRT OFF, TWIST IT ROUND YOUR HEAD, SPIN IT LIKE A HELICOPTER!”

The sweet tender lyrics of Petey Pablo echoed in my head as we flew into Raleigh Airport, North Carolina (sadly we flew in on a plane, not with our shirts spinning round our head like a helicopter). This was to be the last stop on our BBQ pilgrimage, which had so far taken my wife and I to Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia – with a brief BBQ-free stay in Louisiana somewhere in the middle. Our belts had buckled and our pores were in a permanent state of meat sweats, but here we were in North Carolina, ready to Raise Up once again.

Staying with some family friends in Raleigh (avid readers will be happy to know that we were staying with the same family that I stayed with during my 1997 trip to Memphis! How bout that!), we had some satisfying BBQ at the enormous, family-friendly restaurant The Pit, but had hired a car so we could drive out into the sticks the next day, in order to sample some truly legendary North Carolina style BBQ.

North Carolina is vastly different to BBQ served elsewhere in America. Pork is the focus here – and not just shoulders and ribs. In North Carolina they slowly smoke whole hogs, remove all the bones and then chop all the tender meat up, before drowning the meat in a thin and spicy vinegar sauce. Spoiler alert: this was my favourite style of BBQ that we had all trip.

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“Can we have some bread” I asked the waitress at Wilber’s BBQ in Goldsboro, two hours out of Raleigh. “No bread, sorry” she said as she plonked a basket full of deep fried golden curls on our table, “we do hush puppies instead” – and so began our lunch at the best BBQ spot we visited in America. A chequered tablecloth, an endless cup of Dr Pepper and a papered basket, stacked high with perfectly fried hush puppies.

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In the middle of the table were packets of butter, intended to be spread on the hush puppies. Buttering deep fried cornmeal? Wilber’s was not fucking around.

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We ordered a combination plate, which came with a vinegary mashed potato salad, a finely chopped, vinegary slaw and a huge serve of finely chopped, vinegary pork, fresh from out of the smokehouse. If the hush puppies weren’t so crunchy, you wouldn’t need to chew any of this meal. The pork was tenderer than a Drake album, with the Wilber’s signature sauce supplying the perfect amount of vinegar tang and cayenne pepper spice. It was great on it’s own, even better when eaten in between mouthfuls of potato and slaw. We polished the plate off in no time and knew that we had to order a pork sandwich as well, so as not to anger the BBQ Gods.

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A minute passes and a humble little sandwich arrives on our table. A hot, sugary roll filled with pork and slaw. Even on this 100 degree day, the warmth from the roll is cozy. The pork and slaw, exactly the same as the pork and slaw served on the combination plate, tastes even better in the roll. This is a perfect little sandwich, and each loud, spicy vinegar burp on the 2 hour drive back home reminds us of our incredible meal, and of what a terrible person I am.

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Before we left Wilber’s I took a walk around the back of the restaurant, through the many piles of kindling, and introduced myself to the staff manning the smokehouse. I pulled out the unicorn card – “Hi I’m an Australian who loves BBQ can I please go in that big smokey room?” and was greeted with high fives and a short guided tour of the huge smokehouse. There were some 50 pigs being smoked at the one time! I took a few pictures and actually considered getting this one printed up as a set of postcards:

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What a beautiful view.

The next day we were laughed at by our host for wanting to drive even further for our next meal. “You wanna take a four hour round trip just for lunch?” he exclaimed as we snuck out the back door and embarked on a four hour round trip just for lunch. It amused me that in 2 days of being in North Carolina we had visited two towns that he hadn’t even considered visiting in the two years he’d lived there. Such was our passion for BBQ!

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We passionately drove for 106 miles until we got to Ayden, home of The Skylight Inn. A sign welcomes our arrival that announces “If it’s not cooked with WOOD – It’s not BBQ”, one of the few facts that BBQ spots all over America would probably agree on.

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For many reviewers who aren’t from Texas, The Skylight Inn is thought to be BBQ capital of America – the owners even built a replica of Capitol Hill on top of their roof to announce this.

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Inside The Skylight Inn is a stark contrast to the colourful, family friendly vibe of Wilber’s. White walls, a small amount of paraphernalia from the restaurant’s long history and complete silence, save for the constant chopping of the chef in the kitchen, making his way through whole smoked pigs with two huge cleavers. The old man behind the counter stares at us with cold eyes that say “don’t even try and say a thing to me or my staff besides your order!” Not even my Australian accent can get me a smile. These guys have probably never heard of a unicorn.

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We order a barbecue tray, the most unique way of serving BBQ we’ve ever seen. A small tower of trays stacked on top of each other. Down the bottom is pork, which is not quite as tender and tasty at Wilber’s was but it has pieces of crunchy skin mixed through the meat which is an amazing vibe. On top of the pork is a big piece of corn cake, an incredible take on corn bread made with lard, based on a family recipe from 1830! At the top of the tower is a tray full of pale, vinegary slaw, with a plastic fork wedged inside. A few bottles of BBQ sauce adorn the table.

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Break off a piece of the corn cake, top it with pork and slaw, add some sauce, eat. Speak too loudly about how good the food is, get glared at by the long line of people who have come to order an unbelievable amount of pork takeaway. We had heard legends of this place, we heard almost nothing while we were inside. We tasted some damn good BBQ though, further testament to my decision that North Carolina style BBQ is the BBQ for me.

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Before we hop back in to our car and complete our four hour round trip just for lunch, we pop into a thrift store across the road. “Oh did you eat at Skylight for lunch?” asks the large, mysterious shop owner – “I don’t think it’s very good”. We counter his argument for about 10 seconds before he admits that he just doesn’t like BBQ, and we suddenly realise what your average Yelp reviewer looks like.

The next day we flew to New York and a week after that we were home in Sydney. During our time away I somehow only managed to put on just one extra kilo. We had to buy another suitcase just to house all of the various sauces and trinkets we picked up at every BBQ spot and diner we ate at.

I apologise to Kansas for not including you in our trip. I hear your BBQ is amazing too, and I realise that throughout these 7 posts I’ve only managed to visit an extremely small percentage of America’s great BBQ spots. I hope I’ve provided anyone with an interest in BBQ who’s visiting any of the cities I went to with a good starting point. This is a trip that I would recommend to anyone and would happily do again and again. The barbecue scene of the South is insanely engrossing, full of so many amazing different takes and hilarious opinions. It’s a cuisine that will never be able to be mass marketed due to the many different styles from each region and thankfully you won’t see a McSmokie’s or a BBQ Hut anytime soon.

The difference in produce and cooking techniques means that it’s hard to replicate great BBQ in Australia. There’s a small and building scene of people doing it properly (or as close to properly as possible given our limitations) across the country and hopefully that will keep growing. My advice to anyone who wants to try great BBQ – especially chefs keen to put it on their menu – is too get yourself to Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee or Kansas and experience it first hand. You’ll fall in love with the food and the culture. Then you can come home, write about it and claim the whole thing as a tax expense.

Thanks for the write off, I really enjoyed writing all these and hopefully will do more in the future!

Levins

Part 1, read it here: When Levins did Austin, Texas
Part 2, read it here: When Levins did Lockhart, Texas
Part 3, read it here: When Levins did Spooney’s Bar-B-Que, Mississipi
Part 4, read it here: When Levins did Memphis Tennessee

Part 5read it here: When Levins went to Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Que, Alabama
Part 6, read it here: When Levins did Daddy D’z Bar B Que Joynt