Chris Rock said in his hit song “No Sex (in the Champagne Room)” with the late Gerald Levert: “Don’t go to clubs with metal detectors out front…sure it feels safe INSIDE, but what about all those Nyugahs outside with guns? They know you ain’t got one!”
About a year ago Mingles (where Too Short shot his video “Blow the Whistle”) shut its doors due to the excessive violence that took place outside the cabaret after closing hours. Basically, whatever arguments started in the club always seemed to turn deadly outside the club. As a result, Mingles had a reputation for being the last club you might live to party at.
They tried to enforce a strict dress code. They tried to change the format of the music they played. None of this could stop the fatal shooting of Shirley Deeane Smith and her unborn child last November 2006.
The incident played out through the U.S. as two Nyuguhs having a disagreement that couldn’t be settled without “Popping the Trunk.” And as it goes wit Nyuguhs, both parties had guns and neither had ever visited a shooting range, resulting in the murder of innocent bystander Smith. The club knew its demographic and decided to close for good. But where were the Nyuguhs supposed to go?
At the time of Smith’s shooting, Club @17 (cleverly named for its location on 17th Street in downtown Oakland) was already growing in popularity among the foxy young (as well as the older) vixens, and boasts an upscale atmosphere and furnishings. Even though their dress code was much stricter than Mingles ever was, it has been “scientifically” proven throughout the town that wherever vixens are, Nyugahs are not far behind (not only in clubs, but in street festivals like Festival by the Lake and Carijama, and even Fourth of July celebrations that no longer take place in Oakland). Nyugahs lined around the block on any given Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night attempting to push up on these young vixens. While some tried their hardest to conform to the dress code (think Baggy Girbaud jeans, Church Shoes, and Collared shirts..LMMFAO), others whose attire was rejected would hang around the area in order to “Parking Lot Pimp” – a common @17 activity that can last until 3:00am on weekends when the club closes at 1:30am. In addition, the club’s relentless promotional efforts made it the “go-to location” for A-List hip-hop & R&B celebrities like Lil Wayne, John Legend, and Lil Scrappy. It’s reputation made not only the club itself, but the area around it, the place to be.
Some Nyugahs in the club, feeling uncomfortable in their church shoes, are easily set off by getting their feet stepped on or a drink spilled on their “good shirt.” The drama that sparks inside can easily escalate outside. Other Nyugahs, who find it economical as well as comfortable to purchase alcohol from a liquor store and not even worry about dress codes and bar tabs, just come by to witness the excitement that ensues outside when 1:30am rolls around. But sometimes they get a little too excited when they see someone they had a previous argument with or when they get embarrassed in front of a vixen.
Both instances, inside and out, can result in “trunks getting popped” like on August 3rd, 2007, when Johnny Gaines and Andre Arceneaux were murdered outside the cabaret. While it’s not clear whether those young, twenty-something men were the intended targets, I know for a fact that Nyugahs are irritable and Nyugahs can’t shoot.
So if you are planning a night out @17th, do it big – it might just be the last function you ever hit up.