"Are you going to StripperFest?"
"Excuse me, am I going to what?"
"StripperFest. It's a thing at All-Star Weekend."
If I told you a complete stranger with his or her own guide to All-Star Weekend told me such a thing, I would be lying. Instead these words of eloquent debauchery would belong to my father, who obviously had one thing in mind when dealing with the gamut of celebrities and wannabe celebrities set to descend on Houston next week.
StripperFest is pretty much the Super Bowl for dancers across the country. Tons of money will be flying around, and there will be both bottle service and a great chance a tax-refund check will completely disappear in a matter of minutes, with nobody say anything about it because they knew exactly what they were getting into.
Stripperfest is your clearest, most byzantine definition of what All-Star Weekend could be. That and the Olympic sport known as People-Watching will reach epic proportions.
The fun thing about Stripperfest/ASW people-watching the is the smell of wannabe desperation in the air. These are people who will do anything and everything to try and seem like they belong in a world that possibly doesn't even exist.
Oh, and the same goes for some of the other All-Star events going on this weekend. Here's a few more -- but unlike the previous batch of events in Thursday's "Mario Elie Package," you might want to start rubbing your hands together for a miracle to get into them.
THE CLYDE DREXLER PACKAGE ($75-$100) (Comes in thanks to a major group deal.)
Bun B & Kirko Bangz @ Bambou (2540 University, Tickets) Bun said, "See you in February for the All-Star Game" back in 2006 and it stuck. Now here he is hosting with Houston's most visible new artist and the fun thing about the package here is that you could buy tickets for 2 Chainz & Future's show at Venue PLUS tickets to DJ Drama's day party at Avenue (4500 Washington).
Love and Basketball feat. Kenny Smith & Biz Markie @ Rich's (2401 San Jacinto, Tickets) This could be considered the Kenny Smith Package, given that Kenny is the one throwing the party but for Valentine's Day, it's $80 and Biz Markie. Nobody beats the Biz.
All-Star Takeover feat. Evelyn Lozada & Draya Michele @ Bambou (Tickets) There's early-bird specials, and then there's an absolutely eye-popping "THAT DUDE" portion here where you can spend $12,000 on a section. That's right, $12K. Plus, you're dealing with two members of Basketball Wives here. One is enough. Draya and Evelyn? Good luck.
Chris Brown & Carmelo Anthony @ The Drake (1902 Washington, Tickets) You want a polarizing party? You've got Chris Brown, music's reigning public enemy No. 1, and Carmelo Anthony, who could easily be offended if you mention Honey Nut Cheerios to him. Team Breezy would be in full effect here, so be prepared to deal with overzealous fans.
DIDDY DOES THE DAMN THING
Friday: The Drake (1902 Washington, Tickets) Saturday: With Rick Ross @ The Compound at Hess Club (5430 Westheimer, Tickets) Sunday: With Scott Disick @ The Compound at Hess Club (5430 Westheimer, Tickets)
Despite the different venues, we're talking Diddy here. And Diddy things always tend to be done with the sort of extravagance that you honestly never know what could happen. Rick Ross is pretty much the same way -- he once cradled a freaking jaguar as a pet. And Scott Disick? Arguably the biggest baller who dicked his way into a family -- ever.
ALL DAMN WEEKEND
Ei8ht Lounge (5102 Washington, Tickets):
Thursday: Nas Friday: Lance Gross & Rocsi Diaz Saturday: Big Sean & Wale Sunday: French Montana
Here's where things get a bit tricky. This could easily be Mario Elie package, but it's Clyde simply because it's a 1,200 person venue, and 800 tickets are being sold for Nas. The same could apply for Big Sean, Wale and French Montana in the coming days. Want all four people dates? $200 could secure you.
Warehouse Live (813 St. Emanuel, Tickets):
Thursday: Jadakiss, Scarface, Juelz Santana Friday: Meek Mill, Fabolous, DJ Drama Saturday: Birdman's Birthday Bash Hosted by DJ Khaled
For three nights, Warehouse Live is pretty much all-out ground zero for celebrity fun and concerts with the most gaudy of the three events being Birdman's birthday party. If Birdman throws a party, you go to it for the sheer "What Could Possibly Happen Here" factor being at a 9, right? Plus, the promoters have packaged these things into a deal for your buck.
THE HAKEEM OLAJUWON PACKAGE ($100+) (The greatest ever -- and also the most inexplicable.)
Jay-Z @ Rich's (2401 San Jacinto, Tickets) It's one thing to party with Jay-Z. It's another when you read off the bottle service you can get here, all the way up to a rap fantasy of $100,000 where you can hang out with 250 of your friends, your own personal bouncers, 10 bottles of Aces of Spades, your own private bar and then some. It might be the greatest non-Vegas moment of your life but only if you dare.
Shaq @ The Marque (798 Sorella Ct, Tickets) You're asking - why is Shaq part of this list and not the Drexler one? Oh, it's quite simple: bottle service. That and there's an option to spend $10,000 on a bottle here and enjoy Shaq's "Superman VIP" lounge. I think they show Blue Chips on loop in there.
T.I., Young Jeezy & Trinidad James @ Ayva Center (9371 Richmond, Tickets) Remember earlier when I said this was going to be the tougher ticket for Trinidad? Yeah, T.I.'s with him. And if you party with the King Of The South, you're best bet is to just party like him.
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Future & 2 Chainz @ Venue (723 Main, Tickets) Since Future has come into his own, he's become the king of hooks and songs dealing with love. 2 Chainz? Well, 2 Chainz is 2 Chainz, one of rap's great paradoxes simply because he used to be someone else, changed his name and became a household name. Yup.