Record Stories: Colored Craig talks Smart E’s “Sesame’s Treet”

Written By: 
Phil Cho
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Photo by Bennet Perez

LA-based DJ and choreographer Colored Craig shares the record from his first solo dance routine.

One of our favorite DJ’s in Los Angeles, Craig Hollamon aka Colored Craig is an Emmy-nominated choreographer who brings a seriously infectious energy and passion for movement along with him on the dancefloor. A longtime fixture in Los Angeles’ house music scene both on the ground and in the booth, Craig currently hosts the monthly Club Craig show on dublab along with his own underground community dance sessions “sonically connecting and healing outside of club spaces and parties.” We’ve followed his sets around town for the better part of a decade. At the end of last year, Craig was named one of Mixmag’s Top 25 Artists to Watch in 2024.

Since the very beginning, Craig has played exclusively vinyl pulled from his extensive collection of classic house from New York, Chicago, Detroit, and dance music from around the world. He was our first pick for headliner at our Sound Material outdoor hi-fi dance party with Good Boy Wine and Sound of Make Believe. Check out Craig’s mix for Resident Advisor’s podcast series:

“A choreographer by trade, everything about Craig has to do with movement, the joy of it, the energy you both gain and lose through dancing. His RA Podcast, recorded in his living room (a sort of nightclub in itself) gets across the infectious, uplifting energy of his sets, blazing through tracks from Kerri Chandler, Masters At Work and Chez Damier, and even including a disco house track that samples the Price Is Right theme. You might call this sound nostalgic, but it doesn’t feel that way coming from Colored Craig, who is obsessed with the now, and the power of the moment.”




For the next edition of Record Stories, we asked Craig to pick out a record of special importance from his collection and share the story behind it.

Hi Craig! How did you get this record?

You know what it’s been so long, I actually don’t remember where I bought it. But, I will say it was probably about 10+ years ago when I first started buying records. I would search the dusty stacks of records in old vintage shops and Goodwills in LA before I even owned a set of decent turntables.

“My Dad was a DJ and Mother loved to dance so I was just surrounded by music always.”

What is the story behind it? What does the record mean to you?

Funny story… I grew up taking dance lessons from the age of 6. The first time I ever did a solo dance performance it was to this track, which was released in 1992, so I was 9/10 years old. My dance teacher would go to Chicago and bring back all this crazy dance music that I had never heard of. I remember when he played it for the first time, I LOST MY SHIT. I guess that was the first sign of me being a raver. LOL. I actually still remember parts of the dance routine, my costume choice, and everything that goes along with it. 

On top of all of that, I recently found some footage online, where the news anchors in St. Louis (where I’m from) were talking about the rave scene in our city, back in the early 90s. They went on to talk about the vibe, the people, the fashion, and the music. Just so happen, their song of choice to reference was Smart E’s “Sesame’s Treet”. That definitely sent me down a YouTube hole, leading me to the music video I had never seen and even live performances that are just SO GOOD!!!

What was the rave scene in St. Louis like in the ‘90s? Any memorable experiences you can share?

Yo what’s funny is, I had no idea what a rave was back then. LMAO. I’m from the city of St. Louis. I went to a mostly all black high school & dance studio. The parties I went to were at a skating rink on the weekends for teens from like 9pm-1am. We’d be in there battling each other and crews and freak dancing and just having a good ‘ol black time. At 1am when the party was over there’d be this looooong line of non-black teens wrapped around the building dressed in their all black or colorful rave gear. We’d look at them like they were crazy. And they’d look at us the same. LMAO!!!! Funny enough though, in my crew or even at my school, I was the weird kid with weird style. I was pretty much dressed like them but with my hip hop dancer twist. I just wasn’t living in the right area to hear about raves. That was more for the kids in the country they had money and access to all that I guess.

I knew about the music though, well sort of. I heard the (house) music from my dance teachers who were young gay black men who would bring back tapes & cd’s of music from their weekend road trips up to Chicago to party and what not. So the music I play has many memories of growing up loving to dance and learning from them. Also my Dad was a DJ and Mother loved to dance so I was just surrounded by music always. I have videos of me, my mom, and brother dancing in the living room as kids. She was so good!!!! Ugh!!!

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