Where the Players Are

Secret Society's brain trust doesn't mess around

Secret Society on Monday nights at B.E.D. www.bedmiami.com isn't so secret. High-end ballers from Run's boy DMC to Jermaine Dupri and actual (foot) ballers like O.J. McDuffie and Andre Johnson make their way through the gauntlet of less-than-subtly-dressed females every week. Those ladies, by the way, get free dinners on plates from which I sometimes nab a smidgen of food while they're preening over their new Jimmy Choos. But it isn't just about the pimps and hos. This upscale hip-hop engagement has as much to do with the people behind the scenes as those making one.

First there's the promoter who's always the last to show -- Carlos Perez.He's a big reason why South Beach is littered with flyers, since he owns the appropriately named Clubflyers.com. He doesn't care much for dressing up. Perez's signature style fuses a bit of bohemia with don't-give-a-fuck attitude like butter and toast. Kicking rolled-up jeans, white Adidas ("the ones with the fat laces," he reminds me), and a thrift shop shirt usually makes fellow promoters roll their eyes, but he's one of those people who can get away with being off-the-chain. "He's crazy," says Empire Events, the trio who team up with Perez for SecSoc. Now the young, cool, and confident Justin Levine, Michael Robbins, and Perry Sassonaren't just the next generation of prime-time promoters -- they also have really cool names,which, believe it or not, makes a huge difference in an industry where name-dropping is an art.

Back to their parties, like the recent Pimps and Hos Ball at Jimmy'z at the Forge, and the big pimp himself, the Forge's Antonio Misuraca,who's also a SecSoc member. Rumor has it that he has been with two chicks at the same time more often than most guys have seen one. Well, entertaining famous friends like Fat Joe and Lennox Lewis at SecSoc can't hurt anybody's game, but Misuraca isn't trying to play too hard these days. He's eyeing "natural women," girl-next-door types, and usually hangs back. Sounds like he's thinking about clubland's cardinal sin -- settling down.

 
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