By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
By Nick Keppler
By Nate Jackson
By Alex Distefano
Saturday, Dec. 1, 12:48 a.m.: I pop the handle and cautiously step out of my car in the parking lot behind Mirror Image studios in Anaheim, a small venue in the belly of a dark, nondescript business park. I see and hear small groups of people laughing and bullshitting, but I recognize no one.
1:10 a.m.: For the past 15 minutes, I've been waiting for LA mixtape impresario DJ Nik Bean to arrive. Earlier in the week, I met him and legendary West Coast rapper Kurupt for an interview. They were shooting a video for the song "Lend Me Ya Ear" off Kurupt's new mixtape, Money, Bitches, Power, due out in January.
1:14 a.m.: It's cold, and I can't stop coughing. DJ Nik and Kurupt have been friends for about five years and collaborated on a number of projects, including the mixtape. After meeting them on set, talking with Kurupt about his former fiancee Natina Reed passing away and hanging out at Hooters for an evening, the two let me in on a private show Kurupt would play in Orange County at Mirror Image. I'd never heard of it.
1254 N. La Loma Circle
Anaheim, CA 92806
Category: Music Venues
1:16 a.m.: I decide to go inside. It turns out to be a ridiculously packed, late-night gangsta party. I try to ignore the stares. Is it that obvious I don't belong? Probably.
1:20 a.m.: I know I'm getting ill. A few minutes after getting out of the car, I meet up with DJ Nik at the front of the crowded entrance, and we head inside.
1:21 a.m.: We walk through the VIP backstage section to try to find Kurupt. He's nowhere to be found. This place is wall-to-wall people. There are two half-naked women with clothes painted on. Everyone is smoking weed.
1:23 a.m.: We walk through an enormous cloud of smoke.
1:33 a.m.: Kurupt shows up with a posse in a parking lot behind the studio. There are four cameras in his face. DJ Nik and I walk up to him. Kurupt gives me a hug. Everyone reeks of weed.
1:41 a.m.: The entire posse is trying to jam through one door. The back entrance connects to the stage. Too many people, not enough space. A man with a tattooed face almost runs me over.
1:44 a.m.: Inside, there are almost as many people onstage as there are in the crowd. Still, the crowd is packed tightly.
1:46 a.m.: Dr. Dre's son Curtis Young, a.k.a. Hood Surgeon, is onstage, so is Tash from Tha Alkaholiks. An MC is screaming about getting everyone off the stage. It's extremely annoying. Everyone is drunk and/or high and not moving.
1:51 a.m.: Kurupt finally comes toward the front of the stage with his brother, Philadelphia rapper Roscoe. He starts off his set with a tribute to Nate Dogg. Everyone is throwing up their West Coast signs and waving their hands.
1:55 a.m.: Kurupt smokes a huge, 8-inch blunt onstage.
1:58 a.m.: Kurupt raps to Dr. Dre's "Xxplosive" and Warren G and Nate Dogg's "Regulate." One of the naked, painted girls from the VIP room is shaking her ass very fast.
2:26 a.m.: "I'm gonna come down and smoke with you," announces Kurupt to the crowd. He bobs his head up and down. He starts freestyling. It's fucking great.
3:10 a.m.: Kurupt hugs me goodbye before he leaves. He tells me that he's going to write a book about his life.
3:15 a.m.: DJ Nik and I head over to Denny's, which is about five minutes away.
3:18 a.m.: It's packed as shit inside. We wait about 25 minutes for a table.
3:20 a.m.: I ask DJ Nik if he's ever been to jail. He tells me some crazy story about being arrested for having weed and a baseball bat in the backseat of his car about six years ago. The cops claimed he was in possession of a deadly weapon. He used to sell weed back in the day, but he doesn't anymore.
3:41 a.m.: It seriously looks like a Hot Topic convention to my left. Some dude with five rings in his lip and blood tattoos coming down his neck is among a clan of ugly women wearing slutty, all-black clothes.
3:50 a.m.: We talk about how the club is a place where you go to get laid. DJ Nik tells me that a lot of ladies try to take him home when he's in the booth. He likes younger women.
4:06 a.m.: We talk about how pimps make good money. I don't understand why prostitutes can't keep the money they make.
4:10 a.m.: We conclude that stripping might be more profitable.
This article appeared in print as "Ain't Nothin' But a Gangsta Party: We join Kurupt and DJ Nik Bean for some late-night rowdiness in Anaheim."