Caramel Kisses

"Damn, Kreme, peep all the chicas calientes and fly papis in line to get into Coach & Willie's," spits the still-switch-hittin' Shakira of the PHX, a.k.a. the Jettster. "I'm goin' home with something fine tonight, for real."

"Yeah, Pan Dulce pulls in more brown-skinned eye candy than a Daddy Yankee concert," I tell her as I parallel park the Impala about a block or so down from da club. "It's one of the hottest nights in the Valley. Been going strong for about three years now. I heard their Thanksgiving party was bangin', and to judge by that line we just passed, I heard right."

"Mmmm, I can't wait to sink my teeth into some of them sweet buns," pants the J-Unit, rubbing her hands as she imagines the fleshy equivalent of those sugary Mexican breads of the same name as the night.

"So I reckon all this talk about you giving up hynas has been just that -- talk," I observe.

"Can I help it if the squalies and stick-bandits be all up on me every time we go out?" the Jettster cries, steppin' to the curb and smoothing her dress over her ass. "It's not my fault if they all want a piece of this."

"Once a puta, always a puta," I grumble as we sashay our way to the front of the line. There we meet up with our man Noel Serrato of, the company that puts on the Pan Dulce parties, as well as other Latin-themed events around town.

"Whenever we have our parties here at Coach & Willie's, the management tells us this is when they make the most money," contends Serrato, standing before the entrance to Coach & Willie's huge patio, next to a small stage and tall white screen where a couple of the curvaceous Pan Dulce go-go gals are doing some sexy shadow dancing. "We usually draw about 700 to 750 people. It gets really packed, as you can see."

"Looks like a fairly young group, too, mostly twentysomethings," comments the Jettster. "What sort of music do you guys play?"

"We aim it at the Chicano crowd," answers Serrato. "You know, people who are Hispanic, but born here in America, not in Mexico. They like the Spanish music. Everything from Spanish pop and reggaeton to cumbia. But they also love the hip-hop and R&B."

Right at the moment, DJ Kool-A is on the decks, droppin' some Mike Jones, and I believe I recognize the delicious odor of sensi wafting past my nostrils from parts unknown. We step inside and make note of the organization in place. Plenty of security outside and in, but nothing thuggish, like you get at some spots.

There's a solid, positive party vibe throughout, with the ground-level patio being the main dance area, and folks grinding to a mix of hip-hop and various Spanish styles. Up the steps and past the doors to the main bar, this cat Tranz is spinning hardcore reggaeton and cumbia. There's also a second story with a wide balcony up two more flights, where there's a smaller bar and a VIP lounge.

Other DJs with sets tonight include DJ Melo, who spins Saturdays at Jackson's on Third, DJ Villin, and DJ Astonish, who we last ran into over at the Hidden House and who now does the Drive at Five spot for KISS-FM 104.7. A dude named Junior is on the mic, pumping up the crowd, telling them which DJ is throwing it on the wheels of steel, and even announcing the presence of the Kreme Team in the hizz-ouse.

Up on the DJ rise, we eyeball the boyish Astonish conversatin' with these two Pan Dulce dancers who look like they wanna pop the baby-faced 20-year-old into their mouths like a hunk of butterscotch and suck all night long. As for Jett, she can't decide who she'd rather bed, Astonish or the fishnetted wiggle-smiths cuddlin' him.

"Dang, he's cute," she comments.

"Girl, you've got bunions the same age," I snort.

"Asswipe," she curses, smacking my arm. "I'm only a year or three older, and I ain't got no bunions, blubber butt."

"Whatever, sucia, just don't be taking yer boots off, you'll scare the talent," I state, then, addressing Astonish, "Yo, Astonish, how 'bout a preview of what you're gonna drop later?"

"Real hard party stuff and hip-hop, that's what I play," he answers. "You know, Fat Man Scoop, 50 Cent, LL Cool J, Daddy Yankee, Snoop, Kanye, stuff like that."

"I see you're keepin' it popular," I tell him. "So where did you learn your skills, playa?"

"When I was 14, I bought some cheap-ass turntables and began practicing," replies the Arizona DMC (Disco Mix Club) champ. "I also hung out with a bunch of other DJs, listened to them scratch, and stole their moves. Then I started entering DJ battles. The really expensive equipment I have now, I all won in battles."

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons