That Party In Deep Ellum On Friday Night Got Pretty Real.
It's around 8 o'clock on Friday night when I finally get around to sending my RSVP email to this party I keep hearing about — an all-night bash simply called “That Party,” which, along with the email address provided, is an appropriately generic name, I suppose.
The idea is that, upon getting my email, they'll reply with another that discloses how to get to the spot. It's all very on-the-down-low, which maybe makes sense, but then again maybe doesn't: Rumor has it Soulection producer Mr. Carmack is going to be spinning at this thing; less firm is some speculation that G-Eazy is supposedly coming after his own show across town wraps. DJ WICVH's attendance is confirmed from what I gather.
Regardless, it doesn't take long — just a few minutes, really — for my response to come. No real surprise here: It's yet another fairly cryptic message.
Here's the text of that message, in full and unedited.
Thank you for your RSVP
party stars at 10:30
in order to gain entry you must go to the Cafe Brazil in Deep Ellum.
2815 Elm Street, Dallas, TX 75226
once inside Cafe Brazil look for a person in a +PRIME+ beanie
you will get a wristband (in exchange for your $10 donation)
directions to the location of the show will be provided at that time
drinks will be available, this is NOT byob
be safe, and party hard, we will see you tonight!
P.S. park somewhere in deep ellum – show is in walking distance of Cafe Brazil.
MUST HAVE WRISTBAND TO ENTER HOW, DO NOT GIVE OUT ADDRESS TO FRIENDS, DIRECT EVERYONE TO CAFE BRAZIL
I'll be honest: By the time I walk into Cafe Brazil, I'm fairly nervous about this whole thing. I'm not sure who I'm supposed to be seeking. Fortunately, the server who tries to seat me and my friends has a semblance of an idea about what's happening. Detecting the look of uncertainty in my face, the server points me in the direction of a couple sitting together at a table nearby.
As I snake my way between paying customers towards the man in the hoodie, his “PRIME” beanie becomes visible. Down to play their game at least for a moment, I slowly approach, rest my hands on their table, lean in and, with a low and heavy voice, ask, “What's up with that party?”
His eyes light up — he's stoked I brought my camera for one thing — and, in an instant, he slaps a wristband on my forearm and tells me where to go. Again, he's fairly vague. But the place isn't far off, he promises.
But it's kind of in a whole other world — past the louder and busier streets of Deep Ellum and down into the more-quiet, more-warehouse-like corners of the neighborhood. Heading that way, as the music from the clubs starts to fade, I begin to doubt my ability to memorize directions.
A group of young guys smoking cigarettes ensures me and my friends that we're on the right path, though. They point down an alley — one most people might easily overlook — and tell me the party's down that way.
They're not wrong. The bass gets louder. We're clearly getting warmer. Finally, we spot a group of people hanging out near a door. Seems we found it — even if this crew's body language is maybe a little too casual. Maybe, I think for a moment, this is just a low-key hang.
Nope. Not at all.
Immediately inside the space, a group of people sink into couches, playing video games. A little farther back, groups of skaters show off some tricks. To the left, the room's largely dark — and yet it's easily the liveliest part of the room. The music — rap remixes and mash-ups, mostly — is loud, and the dance floor is densely packed. Some people grind, others just kind of stand there, and most everyone is drinking. Behind this scene, there's a makeshift bar and DJ booth.
Oh, and there's drugs.
People use drugs for all kinds of reasons. Tonight, I'm guessing they're doing it to escape this shithole. The whole place just looks tattered. In the men's bathroom, a flimsy ladder — it literally looks held together by chewing gum — leads up to a second level.
It's like a human rat nest up there. The ceilings are low, the entire space is cramped. In spite of this, a dangerous amount of people are crammed in.
One guy up here's totally passed out. One of the girls looking after him says he hit his head on the ceiling. Another says he's just dehydrated. No one in the room really believes either of them — and neither, it seems, do the people in charge of the party. Suddenly, the music comes to a halt and a female voice shouts with a sense of urgency, demanding that everyone leave now.
It's a little before 2 a.m. The rat nest is gross and this kid is going through some shit, but no one really looks pleased about this demand.
“He's fine,” shouts one of the girls attending to the passed-out guy. “We don't need to call an ambulance.”
The noise of a frustrated exit starts to take over. A liquor bottle suddenly smashes on the ground and breaks, and a little bit of purpose starts to set in. The shattering sound acts like a school bell signalling dismissal.
Back downstairs, I see that the bottle did something else, too: One guy's ear is all bloodied up. The ricochet of the bottle's shards hit the side of his face.
A friend of my old pal from Cafe Brazil tells me he had nothing to do with this party. No one knows exactly what shut the party down. I'm guessing the passed-out guy didn't help.
Also not a huge help? G-Eazy never showed, not far as I could tell. Mr. Carmack might've — I didn't see him, but others did. He definitely didn't get the chance to perform, though. Maybe he was going to. And maybe G-Eazy was going to come at some point, too. I really don't know.
But, hey, WICVH made it, as promised. And she performed, too. So that's pretty cool, I guess.