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Rocca Fellers

Former pool hall is Houston's newest hip-hop spot.

The job of a party promoter is to promote the party.

Crazy, right? It's part of the reason why it's so easy to disregard proclamations that a Tuesday-afternoon beatnik poetry reading at some lame strip-center gift shop in Pearland is the second coming of San Francisco's Six Gallery. Every father says his daughter is pretty, ya know.

So early on last Monday evening, when Rocca Bar's (6306 Richmond) promoter began throwing around statements like "We get between 300 and 400 in the door on a slow night" and name-dropping platinum recording artists such as Usher and Juvenile, it mostly seemed like hogwash.

Pool hall decor and all, Rocca Bar is the hip-hop crowd's new favorite "chill spot."
Larami Culbertson
Pool hall decor and all, Rocca Bar is the hip-hop crowd's new favorite "chill spot."

Then midnight rolled around. And whoa.

At 12:15 a.m. at Rocca Bar, the place was absolutely jumping. The parking lot was full of vehicles stashed away by valets at an exorbitant $20 a pop. The line to get in was growing with guys and girls waiting to pay cover ($10 and $5, respectively).

Within, swarms of people vied for each bartender's attention. GO DJ J-Boss whipped the dancing women stuffed into the area around the stage, and the men watching them, into a tumult. Almost all of the pool tables were in use.

Speaking of pool tables, Rocca was most recently a Fast Eddie's — and still is, essentially. The layout, the neon lights and the decor are all almost exactly the same. An awning above the bar still reads "Fast Eddie's."

No matter. New name, new life.

"This is the best Monday chill spot," said Tiffany Cains, 27, when asked why her group of friends has made visits to Rocca a regular thing.

Meanwhile, J-Boss was shouting into the microphone about how people "can't tweet and party at the same time," and a large woman catty-cornered from Cains's group appeared to be trying to teach everyone how to do ubiquitous hip-hop dance the Dougie.

In other words, Cains's definition of "chill spot" may not correspond with your definition of "chill spot."

"We either like to go to Azteca's (2207 Richmond) or here," she continued. "Those are really the only places to go on Monday."

Cains said that last sentence in a manner that would be difficult to classify as an opinion.

By 1 a.m., the room was fully awake. Slim Thug had arrived, as well as a whole host of other significant Houston rappers such as Swisha House's Surreall, Rap-A-Lot's Fame Sity, and Propain.

Thugga wandered around at his leisure and, beyond the DJ's prototypical "SLIM THUG IN THE BUILDING!" shout-out, people mostly left him be. Assorted members of the Houston Texans were here, too — feel free to make your own "Well, I Guess It's Cool Since You Don't Have to Worry About the Inconvenience of Playing in the Pesky Playoffs" jokes — and people left them be as well.

"It's always like this," GO DJ Hi-C managed to say above the noise. Hi-C is the CEO of the GO DJ army and arguably the best hype man in the city.

The frenzy continued up through 2 a.m. Outside, cars were covered in flyers with pictures of nearly naked black women, an attempt to draw everyone to an after-hours event guaranteed to be historic.

Party promoters promote.
_____________________

LAST CALL

The Shake Down

Two things: First, GO DJ Hi-C will be working the five-day event called "The Shake Down," a mega-stripper gathering unofficially supplementing the Super Bowl in Dallas next month. Apparently, strippers from all over the U.S. are attending. This means a whole bunch of fathers are going to be super-proud because their sons are participating in the Super Bowl, while a whole other bunch of fathers are super-disappointed because their daughters are participating in an entirely different kind of Super Bowl. The world is a tough place.

Second, all the people mentioned in today's article are accessible online, most easily via Twitter: @slimthugga, @godjhic, @godjjboss, @propain713, @surreallonline and @famesity. You should be able to figure out which address belongs to which person. If you can't, then you probably couldn't figure out how Twitter works anyway.

 
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