The Facebook page of the dancer known as Reggae Pops has been filled with memories over the past hours as longtime club-goers pay honor to a smooth-moving fixture on the city’s night-life scene. Pops, born Nemencio Jose Andujar, died earlier this week, leaving a huge hole on the city’s dance floor.
Best known to many for his star turn in the video for Lianne La Havas’ “Age,” Pops could be seen throughout the city’s groovier clubs, be it the regular Wednesday night reggae party Dub Club, the summer Grand Performances series in downtown Los Angeles or anywhere a rhythm could be found.
“The soul of the L.A. party is gone,” wrote one well-wisher on Facebook, and judging by the outpouring, the statement isn’t far from the truth. A man who exuded joy on and off the dance floor, Pops, who was 70, had a charisma that transformed any room he entered.
His mere presence at a function would confirm its worthiness as a dancing outlet. When he stood on stage at the Roxy with La Havas in 2013, in fact, he stole the limelight from the beaming headliner, no small feat given her talent and charisma.
“Amazing man, would bend over backwards for anyone and dance with anyone regardless of who you were and what you looked like,” wrote Kristen Sellen on the Reggae Pops Facebook page. “If you were a male he would give you tips on how to dance properly with the ladies.”
And, it should be said, if you were a male and didn’t have his way with a dance move, he’d (unintentionally) make you seem like the squarest person in the world. In the clubs, he lived like he understood the secret to bliss (and attracting the ladies): being one with the rhythm, and letting it nestle inside your heart.
“Dancing is the best way to exercise, the best way of jelling with others,” he told Los Angeles Magazine in 2012. “You can dance by yourself, you dance with a hundred people. Just go with the flow.”
Pop & Hiss will update with any news of a memorial service or, more likely, dance party, in his honor.