psychogeographic oral history project

It's crazy how a club can change a whole scenery of people”

Club Fusions (1994-2015)
2004 A P Tureaud Ave

Hey, what’s up? It’s your boy HaSizzle, also known as “The King of Bounce” and right now you're listening to the greatest, you heard me, the greatest. My real name is Hasan, everyone knows me as HaSizzle. I grew up right here in New Orleans, Louisiana, Uptown, the place where the soldiers stay.

This building, 2004 AP Tureaud, that you're looking at with all the graffiti, looking all beat up and badly bruised, was the original Club Fusions; the nightclub of all nightclubs in the city of New Orleans. Club Fusions was your LBGTQ club, but it didn't never, ever even have to hold that title because of how open the doors were to everyone.

Oh my God. They had a walk ball and they had different categories such as “Vogue”, “Butch Queen”, “Thug Realness with a Twist”, and they had the “New Orleans Shake- That-Ass” category. And I got into the shaking category. It was me and I want to say at least six others,  and the last two was myself, and this guy,  Dauphine Jody.  They had all the MCs,  the legends,  the icons, some was rappers, some of them was drag queens, some of them was mothers of the houses and everything . It was so many different judges up there. And me and Jody, we battled. I mean, he gave it his all, I gave it my all. And the owner, Keith, was like, "Okay, the club over, it's closed. I need everybody to get out of the building. It's over." So the judges, they were saying it was a tie. As they're saying it was a tie, everybody I'm talking about it was people yelling all, "Cause this one that he did this and he shook better and he dadadah.". And it was so heated, you'd have thought someone was going to fight , but it really was just sportsmanship. So, MC Calliope Priest was like, "All right, let's take it outside."

We get outside, Priest had these speakers on the outside of his car and he put the music on. He said, "We're going to let them battle right here. One more time." So, oh my God, Jody grabbed the wall and went to shakin on the wall and just giving it his all again. And before you know it, baby, I went to shakin right there where I was, I went to going in a circle, wobbling in a circle, dancing in a circle and just like Sonic, I  went to doing the Running Booty. The Running Booty is a dance where you just like wobbling, you dancing. And it’s like you’re gliding on your feet. Then you on your tippy toes at the same time. Like you're going back and forth from gliding on your feet to like a gallop. Like you galloping up and down on your feet.

And I danced from Club Fusions , all the way to Rally's across the street. And everybody lost their shit. Everybody just went to screaming. I'm talking about people went to running, people screaming, people jumping up and down. People like, "Oh my God, HaSizzle won!" and the grand prize was a brand new laptop. Priest took the laptop, threw the laptop in the car, and said, "Hasan, come on, get in the car." As soon as he said that, everybody just knew, I won. It was nothing to talk about.  I won, got in the car, pulled off, and Priest said, "Baby, you shook down." And that was a moment that we will never forget cause Keith put us out the club and we continued to battle in the parking lot.

I had been going to Fusions since they first opened, the last days of the Million Dollar Spot, all the way up to it burned down September of 2015. Everyone just went out there and watched the building burning down, it was so heartbreaking. Still to this day New Orleans has lost their scenery for the Black LBGTQ. It's crazy how a club can change a whole scenery of people. A lot of places that have bars, you know, you can give events, but people need a dance floor, a real dance floor, not all crowded up in the bar; a place they can hit a split and get on their head.

The older community has always been teachers to a lot of the youth and a lot of the younger community. And once Fusions perished, and left and burned down, a lot of people moved away. They moved to other places to have a scenery, to have a place, a welcoming place like Club Fusions was.

Hasan “HaSizzle” Matthews at Dragon’s Den, 2021

(Photo by Sarrah Danziger)