The Trigger Effect

Music Editor's Note--This week I turn over Coda to local hip-hop impresario Mr. P-Body Scott, who observes that some of the urban club patrons who complain about club closings are the same ones contributing to the negativity surrounding hip-hop/R&B events. The characters in his time line are fictional, and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely intentional.

--David Holthouse

9 p.m. It's Friday night and Freddy Scrapps, a.k.a. Itchy Fingers, just got paid. Gearing up for the night, he unboxes a brand-new pair of Nikes ($150 is no problem for a good hustler like Itchy). After several sprays from a $50 bottle of the new Tommy Hilfiger fragrance, Itchy's ready to go pick up his homeys. He jumps in his ride and drives off sittin' on 15-inch chrome rims (and a chrome heater under the seat that Itchy never leaves home without).

10 p.m. After several games of craps, Itchy and his boys stop off at the liquor store to pick up a fifth of Hennessy and six bottles of berry-flavored St. Ides. The clerk at the drive-up window has to wait while everyone in the car argues about who paid for the cognac last time. Finally, the crew coughs up the cash--a stack of ones and some odd change (no one wanted to break a 20 or 50)--and heads for Last Chance, the new and only hip-hop club spot in town. Although none of the crew has been there before, all assume they are VIP. After all, Itchy knows a guy whose girlfriend's sister is dating the promoter's best friend. It's a cinch.

10:30 p.m. Itchy and company roll up to the club and drive by the front entrance a few times to see if anyone's there yet. The crowd inside is getting thick, and a small line is forming, but there's no way the gang would ever go in so early, so they park down the street where they can get their drink on. Itchy bumps his Alpine stereo with a 10-disc changer, two Fosgate amps and four 10-inch subs, turning the music down just long enough to sweat every fly-looking lady that walks by the car. When they're all out of Hennessy and hassles for the honeys, the crew is finally ready to go inside.

11 p.m. Faded like an old pair of blue jeans, Itchy and company approach the club. By now there's a huge line, so they shoulder their way to the front and start to bullshit the bouncers, insisting they're all VIPs. It's not working, but Itchy bumps into Malik, an old homey standing at the front of the line with some fine, Toni Braxton-looking girl. Malik is now completely legit, a successful record exec, and it's been two years since he's hung out with the wild bunch. Nevertheless, Itchy and his friends step over the rope and cut in line ahead of Malik. Once inside the doorway, Itchy sweats a bouncer to go find the club promoter so they can hook up free admission. The promoter comes up, doesn't recognize Itchy or any of his boys, and quickly disappears without a word. Itchy and his crew hold up the line another five minutes while they heatedly try to negotiate a "group rate" cover charge. Finally, the four of them reluctantly give up the $5 each and go inside.

11:30 p.m. Itchy orders a Heineken from the beer-tub girl and can't understand why she won't sell him the beer for $2.50 when the sign says $3.25. Itchy forks over four one-dollar bills, then snatches his change and stuffs all three quarters in the pocket of his brand-new Guess jeans. Then he asks the girl for her phone number.

11:45 p.m. Determined not to lose his high, Itchy orders a four-dollar Hennessy and Coke (he offers the bartender three). Moving away from the crowded bar, he bumps into some brother, who spills his drink on Itchy's brand-new Nikes. A sincere apology won't do--Itchy is ready to scrap! Luckily, several bouncers squash the conflict before it gets out of control.

12:15 a.m. Itchy is outside, fuming because the bouncers won't let him back into the club. As he waits for his friends (who have no idea Itchy was thrown out), he finishes off the St. Ides with several other guys who are just hanging out in the parking lot, waiting for the club to close at one. Someone suggests rolling a blunt and shooting some dice to kill time. Itchy pops open the trunk and pulls out a Tommy Hilfiger bag (free with any $50 cologne purchase) where he keeps his dice, Phillies and CDs. Malik and his girl step outside for some air, see Itchy, and ask what's up. Itchy proceeds to tell them all about how this wack-ass club just threw him out.

1:10 a.m. The club lets out, and a mass of people hit the parking lot. Most of them are still trying to get their groove on--scooping up those digits at the last minute. Nevertheless, Itchy (now completely faded) is still upset. A few minutes ago, he discovered that he lost his Guess watch and tore his DKNY jersey in the scuffle.

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