HOUSTON — Think Mardi Gras to the second power. Not only was Houston the only place to be this past week if you're a football fan, but if you love partying, H-Town was a spot like no other.
Last week started off simply, with a Super Bowl party hosted by the NFL and a shindig thrown by Russell Simmons. On Thursday, things began to pick up as most of the celebrities started hitting town. The big fiesta that night was at Club Vision, where fans had a chance to get up close to LL Cool
J, Serena Williams and the whole Disturbing Tha Peace family.
By the time Friday night came around, the city was on fire, and everybody wanted to shake their tail feathers.
You could barley walk downtown, let alone drive your vehicle, but nobody seemed to mind as there was plenty to watch while idling. Music played loudly from almost every street corner. Ice Cube's early music blared out of a local taco restaurant, the Neville Brothers sang at an outdoor concert,
and music from such artists as Lil Jon and Kanye West was being bumped in cars.
Friday's most crunk event, however, was about 30 minutes away from downtown and almost out of Houston altogether, at Hush. King Fooley himself, P. Diddy, was hosting another one of his trademark dance-till-you-drop affairs.
There was practically a party going on outside the party. Cars were backed up on the freeway for about a mile as they slowly rolled into the parking lot. Once you paid $20 to the valet, you could either stand on a long line to get in — and pay prices upwards of 100 bucks later on in the night — or just stand to the side and watch. The music being spun in the club was piped out through huge speakers that hung outside next to TV screens.
There was no "grown and sexy" dress code — while some guys were dressed to the nines in suits, others came in throwback jerseys and jeans. The women didn't follow
any pattern, either. A few in long ball gowns looked like they were living a second childhood and heading to the prom. Others did the hoochie-mama thing and went the see-through-shirt-with-no-bra route.
Diddy finally arrived in a police-driven SUV accompanied by two officers on motorcycles.
"This is it, you wanna be here," Diddy said about his party. "This is gonna be the one!"
"That's Cedric," Diddy said a few minutes later, looking at his two-way pager and talking to one of the club's managers. "Tell him to come to the side to get in."
As P. Diddy walked to the VIP area, located on a balcony lounge-type area, the fans did everything except throw roses at his feet. Cameras immediately started to click, "I love you, Diddy" emanated from more than one pair of lips, and many of the other mouths in the club let out screams.
As Andre 3000's "Hey Ya!" played, P.D. came to the balcony railing like a king looking down at his subjects and did his Diddy bop. Everyone looked up and cheered.
One of the things that separates Diddy from a lot of other celebs who hit the clubs is that P.D. gets on the mic and hypes things up.
"OK, I see y'all ready to roll," he said as the DJ spun "Mo Money Mo Problems." "Yeah, y'all ready to party!"
A few minutes later the VIP area started filling up more. Cedric "The Entertainer" came in, David Banner surfaced and then Solange Knowles made her entrance.
As Diddy played up to the crowd, the DJ was playing up to Diddy by going into a Bad Boy set. "Where y'all at? I can't see y'all," Diddy yelled. He then took off his sunglasses. "OK, I see y'all now."
"So ride with me, G4 fly with me," he rapped as his verse from the song played.
Then "Mr. October," Reggie Jackson, arrived, and later DJ Clue and his Desert Storm family made their way in to greet Diddy.
Besides the people on the regular dance floor, P.D. was looking down at dancers the club hired who moved around on circular stages and a main stage. The men were all muscular and shirtless, while the ladies danced in short shorts. But
one of them was disrupting the sexy.
"We got some people dancing off beat," Diddy called out with dismay. Whoever he was talking to obviously got the message.
"There you go, baby," Puff said with satisfaction a few minutes later. "Concentrate, concentrate."
When Usher's "Yeah" came on to a roar from the clubgoers, Diddy continued giving orders.
"I need everybody to report to the dance floor! Everybody report to the dance floor immediately. Report to the dance floor."
Around 3:30 a.m., Pharrell was enjoying a Diddy jam and a member of the Bad Boy crew said R. Kelly and Snoop Dogg were on the way. The Pied Piper and the Doggfather still had ample time to revel in the night, as Diddy's joint was going until hip-hop's favorite curfew time — six in the morning.
Saturday night, Diddy hosted a Diamonds and Fur party, while LL Cool J and Jay-Z held it down at Hush. Jimmy Fallon was spotted at the Playboy, and an Alicia Keys pre-Super Bowl party was advertised at Hobby. Sunday after the game,
it was back to Visions for a party with Jermaine Dupri, Nelly and LL. At Max's, the Dirty South dominated with Lil Jon, the Ying Yang Twins and the Youngbloodz. Janet Jackson held a jamboree, Beyoncé and Jay-Z hosted an event, and R.
Kelly threw a Super Bowl post-party.
For more on the weekend festivities, check out MTV Super Bowl Weekend.