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Labor Day & Summer Wrap Up: Where Should I Go This Weekend?

I really don’t write enough. I always seem to start my pieces with why I haven’t written in so long. It seems as if I write a piece, then disappear off the face of the Earth. Well, I’ve haven’t gone anywhere, but I just haven’t been inspired to write as of late. I guess that’s because I haven’t been too excited about most of the parties as of late. Could it be fatigue or burn-out? I think not, I’m not that old. (At least I don’t think). But don’t get me wrong, there have been some solid parties and interesting events to say the least since we last spoke. I’ll see if I can give you some highlights (and maybe some lowlights as well).
First up, Funkmaster Flex’s B-day Bash at The Roxy (Stand Firm Ent., Joe Jaxson). Granted this went down about 3 weeks ago, their efforts were definitely worth the mention. They had quite a few surprises in store for the audience of 1,500+ including a performance by Big Daddy Kane, the prototype to today’s rap star. Most of my time here was actually spent around the corner chillin’ with R.V. and S-Class’ Slim stuntin’ hard in their new vehicles, the Porsche 911 and the BMW 545i respectively. I took a quick ride in the 911 and saw my life flash before my eyes in the span of 1 city block. Beautiful ride my man, but you did no justice getting a Porsche with an automatic transmission. The experience of driving a Porsche can only be maximized by opening it up with a stick-shift. But when stuntin’ for the ladies, I guess it really won’t matter – the drop-top will speak for itself. That same night Blush-N Ent. & Co. did their usual bang out at Supper Club. This particular evening, Young Gavin celebrated his B-Day and I guess half of NYC came to enjoy it with him. The block was too crazy, I had to pass on going in this one. While on the Supper Club, this past Friday was crazy again as Cotton Candy Fridays played host to Juelz Santana his Dipset cohorts including Hell Rell (I dig this guy’s rhymes – gully) and Killa Cam. (Speaking of Cam, I’ve seen him out quite a bit over the last 2 weeks: Show, Etoile, etc….you must have a new album or something coming out.) Anyhow, the folks had the line down the block at 2AM and DJ Will was at the best I’ve ever heard him. He brought that true NYC hip-hop flavor, similar to what he does at Lobby on Tuesdays. I’m tired of getting crunk and Top 40 rap hits; Thanks Will. I’m really feeling the new Friday night party over at Juniper Suite (Live on 5th Group, Triple B Ent.). This is the answer to so many requests that I get when folks ask me where to go out. I always seem to get: I want to go out to more of a lounge, not necessarily a large club, but I want to hear good music, and I want to see Black people. If this sounds like you, then this is the place to go. The space is beautiful, 2 levels with a numerous seats as well as a dance floor if you wish to shake that ass. X-Factah’s DJ June is on the 1 and so the good music is accounted for. I really don’t mean to sound like a commercial for the place, but you rarely have functions like this that occur on the weekend, and so many people ask for this kind of party, I had to sing it’s praises. Looks like Wednesdays at Show is on hiatus for a few weeks. Or it could be done indefinitely. It’s a mystery to me at this point, but a shame, this was pretty much the only game in town on Wednesday nights. Why it stopped after being packed almost every week, I’m not sure about that either – but I heard a few theories. Apparently, Jim Jones came down with his crew, which was about half of Harlem, in tow and was denied entry. As a result, he gave Show’s owner a piece of his mind and I’m sure it wasn’t in a “Diplomatic” way. (I know, it was a bad pun.) Again, this is hearsay, so I don’t know how true this is, if at all. But I’ll tell you, if I was Show’s owner facing 10 or more angry Black men screaming God knows what at me, I don’t know if I would be anxious to open either, especially since they are still dealing with Benny Blanco’s (9fingerzinc) shooting which occurred in the club back in October. There was always a heavy police presence outside the venue each week, so I’m sure the police were anxious to shut this event down as well. And what’s this I hear about Zab Judah and Busta Rhymes peoples mixing it up a bit in here? Last Wednesday, I went to the Scream 4 Tour concert at Madison Square Garden. For those of you not aware of the concert’s lineup, it featured Bow Wow, Omarion, Bobby Valentino, Marques Houston and Pretty Ricky. Basically it was a teeny-bopper concert. Now I don’t have any kids, younger cousins, nieces or nephews, so why would I be there? Don’t ask, it’s a long story, but I can tell you this, I didn’t pay, and I was in a skybox so why not? I saw the little girls going crazy for these, well, kids. I guess I’m getting old because I watched Pretty Ricky in awe as these kids ran around barefoot in sequence boxers humping the floor, humping chairs and grabbing their crotches. Is this what we did we were 13, 14, 15 years old? Probably. No wonder kids are so fast these days……But there were some nice surprise appearances including Lil’ Wayne, Ciara, Juelz Santana, Da Brat and Jermaine Dupri. Last Thursday, I ventured into Brooklyn for music exec Don Pooh’s B-Day Bash at Reign. The event also doubled as the grand re-opening of the newly renovated venue. DJ Self also made a rare appearance in BK as he ‘did what he does’ on the turntables. Everyone in the building was dressed sharp, something you don’t see too often in clubs nowadays. Along with the B-Day boy, notables included Foxy Brown, Carlito (Haciano Ent.), Prince (Showcase Ent.) and Randy B. (Stand Firm Ent.). Kudos to Patty Laurent and her X-Factah crew. They are doing a certain party on a certain day at a certain place, which started out with a very nice look. What kind of BS is that you may ask? Where is it? When is it? She would kill me if I told, I just wanted to let them know, your efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Notables have included, Kwame Jackson of Apprentice fame, R&B singer Dwele, music exec Andre Harrell and BET exec Stephen Hill (By the way, did you have anything to do with the canning of Free and AJ? What happened?) I also wanted to acknowledge comedian/promoter Rob Stapleton, Diggety and his Change the Game Ent. crew for their solid Saturday nights up at Star Nightclub. I’ve seen teams come in and out of this venue for the past two years with marginal success, if any. These guys have had a strong two weeks thus far; they’ve had the most folks I’ve seen in there in a long time. I always thought and still do think the uptown location is a tough sell for folks to come through, but they are defying history at this point. NY Knick Tim Thomas came through for the grand opening a few weeks ago. Keep up the good work fellas. Well Labor Day is around the corner and I guess that means the end of summer is near. In the club world that means a few new clubs will be opening for the fall season. For those of us who attend urban parties, the season should give way for access to new clubs. But in reality, these clubs aren’t really new, these are venues who have succumbed to the fact that they can no longer make money with predominantly White parties, and so they’ve decided to open their doors to us. Unfortunately, it’s the class-type life cycle of nightclubs that folks in the business must face. The crazy thing about this is that the money urban parties generate for these venues can extend the life of a venue from anywhere from 1 to 2 years. For many of these venues, it’s probably the difference between falling within the black (make money) or red (lose money). No need to name venues, chances are if you party there, the venue is probably guilty. You would figure some of the urban promoters would command a bit more respect when looking to get venues, but after having a number of conversations with some of the more established promoters in the game, this isn’t the case. Maybe the extra security our parties sometimes call for or the noise and loitering fines urban parties tend to bring isn’t worth the hassle, or maybe they don’t want ‘niggas’ in their club. Only a club owner could tell you, and I’m sure if it was the latter, they would never tell you. Enough of my social commentary, here are the events worth checking out over the long weekend…. Thursday – Looking to get started early? It looks as if the only game in town will be LQ. Stag Ent, Keino & Tone & Co. are starting the weekend off with an Apple Bottom model search followed by an afterparty. It’s an open casting call, so ladies feel free to come with your portfolios. Does that mean the ladies must have outstanding derrieres to get selected? Friday BLVD (Eclectic Group) - A very, clean and good looking crowd to party with. A personal favorite. Eugene (Stag Ent., Keino & Tone) – A pre Labor Day flag party. A nice ramp-up to Caribbean celebration to take place on Monday in Brooklyn. Expect a heavy Caribbean presence at this affair. Exit (Showcase Ent.) – This is The 6th Annual White Jeans & T-Shirt affair. This has been one of the largest parties of the year, so I would expect good things. I remember when these guys shut down 34th St. a few years ago when they did it at the Hammerstein Ballroom. It got a little nervous toward the end, but nonetheless unforgettable. Juniper Suite – Like I said earlier, if you don’t want to go to large club and want good music, this is the answer. Maxine’s 2 – Another Caribbean flag party located in Trenton, NJ Supper Club – (Blush N Ent.) – This party has been bananas for the last month. Why would a holiday weekend be any different? This week I believe will be a b-day celebration for Hustle Hard rapper Maino. Saturday Discotheque/Hush (Stag Ent.) – Stag and crew will takeover this party after a few other teams have attempted to set this night off with little success. Etoile (Eclectic Group) – The lone Saturday night stalwart for well over a year a change. You can’t go wrong here. Star (Change the Game Ent.) – For those looking for a more mature crowd, this is your spot. Additionally, for those coming from uptown, this spot offers easy access located on 72nd St. Supper Club (Showcase Ent.) – This team continues their assault over the Labor Day weekend with their Poppin’ Tags one-off. They have a solid history of one-offs here, so given holiday weekend, I expect it to be a bit crazier than normal. Sunday Branch (GFC) – Expect a true buppie (Black Urban Professional) crowd here in droves. Wanna see quality women that you don’t see out anywhere else? Then I’ll see you there. Canal Room (Stag Ent.) – This team will be wrapping up a busy weekend with a bang. If this party is anything close to what they helped produce the Sunday before July 4th, you’re in for a doozy. LQ (Haciano Ent., Showcase Ent.) – Just to clarify what’s going on here, LQ Sundays is no longer a weekly event and have transformed to series of one-offs titled ‘Any Given Sunday’. Well this Sunday will be a given Sunday so due to it past rep alone, it should be solid. I love the Any Given Sunday concept, I just think you guys needed to clarify it a bit more to the audience. Until last week, many people including myself were wondering what was going on with the party after being closed for the last 2 Sundays. Many thought the party was a wrap. Hopefully this will be able to crystallize the situation a bit. Hope this helps….I’ll be roving the streets somewhere this weekend….I think….Again, I’ve written a mouthful. I keep telling myself I’ll write shorter versions more often, but since when do things always go as planned? As always, I can be reached at fcgnews@gmail.com. Be safe this weekend all and I’ll see you in the clubs.

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