Why is it so hard to have a good time sometimes?
Going out isn’t as fun as it could be, IMO.
And I could sit up here and act like I’m self-sufficient, like I’m above going to parties and say, “I don’t need to party…I can have fun all by myself”. But that’s not me.
The purpose of this post is to analyze, review, and call out the practices that I have witnessed, rebuked, and yes….even indulged in myself at the club.
If you go to bed every Friday at 10PM, then disregard this post
(Not that there’s anything wrong with that)
If you watch Saturday Night Live – when it’s live, then I’m not talking to you.
(Not that there’s anything wrong with that)
If you prefer to have a Red Box/Blockbuster Night every weekend with a significant other, then press play.
This is for the socialites.
First of all, I love my culture. We definitely know how to party and have a good time. In a way, I imagine every culture could say could that. And by ‘my culture’ and ‘we’, I’m referring to African Diaspora-influenced festivities; i.e. Hip-Hop, R&B, Adult Urban Contemporary, etc. So if you can relate or appreciate, don’t feel that I’m necessarily talking to one color here.
Now that I got my disclaimers out of the way, let me go in.
The Grown & Sexy crowds definitely know how to dress up. You got to look like money. It’s all about looking good and feeling good, right? A good rule of thumb whenever you step outside the house.
We’re just products of our culture, like anyone else. We do and dress like we see in the videos. Nothing new there.
Dresscode is usually strictly enforced at G&S parties. Dresscode is also used to deter the “urban-casual” crowd. [yep, I’ll real PC]. I.E. No white-tees. No baggy pants. No Tennis. No baseball caps. More on this later. Dresscode is used as a filter to attract a certain ‘money-spending’ crowd to a party.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that a thug can’t dress like Carlton Banks and bring his beef to the party…
Nor does it stop a dude with a chip on his shoulder from private school to think he runs things for once in his life. But it filters the drama that many clubowners/promoters try to avoid.
Not that your character deserves to be judged based on your dress, but I think we all understand the concept of dresscode. I think…
[Digression: Discrimination is out there. And it’s not always at the clubs with non-black owners. I have personally witnessed dudes get turned around because of subjective discretion of how ‘baggy’ their pants are. And I don’t think there should be a difference between a black guy wearing a hoody who can’t get in and a white guy wearing a hoody who can get in. I’ve seen heavy-set dudes get turned around for having jeans too baggy. His jeans were quite tight especially around his thighs, but baggy around his calf. Was he suppose to wear skinny jeans for the big & tall? I’m calling you out, Austin’s Pure Night Club!]
And with the hipster culture being more embraced, we seem to be ‘evolving’ from our 2004 Usher-like blazers to V-neck tees and cardigans being Grown & Sexy acceptable. Its cool to be casual, yet fancy.
I can only speak for the fellas here mostly. Ladies know how to look good.
I could comment on my thoughts on how folks dress, but that’s not my intention, nor area of expertise.
Historical fact: Music sets the mood .
Matter of fact, it REALLY sets the mood. We respond to music like no other. How many times have you seen an old school ballad have everyone sangin’? How many times have you seen a hit song hype everyone to go to the dance floor? How many times have you seen a Lil’ Jon song start a fight? How many times have you seen thirsties pep up on the dance floor once Juvenile [and you already know which song] comes on?
I’ll admit that the Grown & Sexy crowd is hard to please, in particular, musically. No need to describe our taste of music, but for those who don’t know –We don’t do house music or techno or live country bands. There’s an art to being a DJ for a Grown & Sexy crowd. A DJ must read their audience. Gauge who’s dancing, and who’s not. Be proactive, and reactive when necessary. Good rule of thumb for all DJs. Don’t come with a non-adjustable playlist with NOW 7 and a technofied-version of J-kwon’s “Tipsy“. [I’ve been there…SMH]
Here’s an example of a pattern I have usually observed get the best response out of a crowd.
- Introduction -10:00-11:00 – People just arrivin’. Actin’ all scared and non-social. DJ plays some nice throwback music. No new hits, but old jams that set the tone of conversation and drinking.
- Get the ladies on the floor- good rule of thumb for any party. They’re the heart of the party. Cater to them.
- Everybody on the dance floor –play the hits!
- Folks actin’ tired – Nobody’s on the dance floor. Play some Shuffle/Hustle music. Grown & Sexy love to step. I’ve never seen it fail. [Actually I take that back…we’re all tired of hearing the Cupid Shuffle]. Go with Old School Jams, if necessary – that’ll get everybody on your side.
- There’s a good ratio on the dance floor! – Play some couples music.
6. 1:15- 1:30 AM. Folks sure are dancing close. Slow it down. Dim the Lights.
7. 2:00 AM – Journey – “Don’t Stop Believin”… j/k. j/k. Walk out music.
3. Zero Tolerance
Fights can happen anywhere, but they’re not expected at a Grown & Sexy party. Emphasis on ‘Grown’. Leave your Greek beef from college at home. But it happens. And it’s funny seeing dude in loafers and bow-ties try to act aggressive.
Going out is suppose to be fun and friendly!
I bet I lost some of you on that last adjective. I understand you got to put a wall up for the clowns you will inevitably encounter. I can sympathize with that. But do you have to stick your bottom lip out the entire night? Doesn’t help the ambience. Perhaps its just me. Perhaps you’re holding out to smile when you see your ‘Boris Kodjoe’ or ‘Idris Elba’. I digress [ Note: Not over it]
And it doesn’t help when everyone in the club is sitting on a couch and cuttin’ their eyes at you. Perhaps such behavior is a product of the wackness of the party/DJ. How temperamental we have become. Call me an idealist, but I expect smiles. Folk mean muggin’ can make a bougie club feel like a dark alley.
When everyone at a party want to act like they’re too cool to be there, it’s contagious and detrimental to the atmosphere.
Grown & Sexy Parties always have a VIP section. It’s a part of the extravagance.
Everytime I’ve been in VIP, I always end up on the regular dance floor anyway.
I’m a man of the people.
Perhaps, I’ve never done VIP “right”. So still looking forward to it. Meh.
5. Dance Floor Etiquette
I ain’t going to call out what dancing I think is appropriate or not. “Not my intention, nor area of expertise”. Just going to review some of my pet peeves on the dance floor at Grown & Sexy Parties.
To the Guys
• I can’t stand when a whole clique of dudes decide to stand in front of me when I’m posted up at a party. They don’t know any better, but they just put me at the outskirts of the party, and blocked my entry to the dance floor/potentials.
• When there are too many guys prowling on the dance floor, I leave it because I feel like I look ‘thirsty’ too.
• “She’s not going to dance with you, bro, if you just approach her with your crouch out.”
• “It’s been 3 songs, man, give that girl a break! She looks exhausted! ”
• “Hovering next to her like that ain’t gunna make her magical notice you!” Not smooth, dance floor stalker.
• “B2K called….”
To the Ladies
• I understand why you do it, but I laugh whenever I see women dance in the “protective circle” scheme.
• “Oh, so you’re not going to dance with me ‘cause your friend implied with her face ‘Nuh-uh, girl!’”. Make independent decisions!
• ” ‘A dance for a drink?’ Nevermind…” P.S. you probably would have got one anyway if you didn’t act so thirsty, literally.
• I understand you don’t want to dance with guys…but I’m bitter you’ve decided to dance all over your girlfriend.
• For the ladies who prefer to do the most on the dance floor, when you touch the floor, you embarrass the both of us.
• Take your texting conversation off the dance floor.
• Be careful with dance circles and Soul Train Lines – if used for too long, they can kill the vibe of the party.
• Middle School Prom-syndrome -Guys over here, Ladies over there. Shame we can’t do better than this sometimes.
Ratchetness is synonymous with the common usage of “ghetto”.
As much as the Grown & Sexy like to judge and avoid the ‘ratchet’ party, they definitely enjoy the music. Oh yeah – no lie.
Note: Horrible stanky leg. I know this cause I’ve learned from the most ratchet.
Remember how it felt when you tried to get into that ‘conservative’ frat party that was blasting hip-hop music. You thought that just because they were blasting hip-hop, that you might have a chance to get in. But they didn’t let you in– duh! And you say to yourself, “Wow—they sure love our music!”, but then you question how they wouldn’t welcome the people that created that music. [Note: I’m over it]
I feel the Grown & Sexy crowd do the same thing with “ratchet” music. We love the music, but won’t accept the crowd. Cause we assume the crowd will intimidate the bougie and start drama.
Don’t be fooled to think that Grown & Sexy people just jam Old School and songs like, “Neyo – Champagne Life” and “Try Songz- Bottoms Up”. They definitely love to clown out, but also love to front like they don’t want to at first. You can’t play the ratchetness until after midnight when folks got their buzz, and their inhibitions are lowered.
Conclusion (Or something like that)
The word “party” derives from the Greek word, parthea, which means to “come together”.
Alright, I totally made that up. But it would have been nice. LOL
A good party takes a communal effort. Maybe this whole post is just a sign of my age. Maybe I’m just growing out of the scene that I desire to have fun with. But I refuse to concede and accept that fact just yet. I believe that “partying” is an essential part of life; to celebrate our blessings and accomplishments. And I’m sure that everyone that seeks to have a good time, feels the same.
Maybe I’m a party socialist; tryin’ to equally distribute party enjoyment for everybody. Maybe it’s just human nature, and such faults are inevitable when you gather a mass of people.
I just want everybody to have a good time, respectably.