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Redeye July 17 2003

Pretty kitty: In honor of Christina "XXXtina" Aguilera's July 12 appearance at Philips Arena with Justin Timberlake, last week began with strippers, at the Cheetah Wednesday. KMX and UMIX.net held what will be referred to as a "Matrix party" because of the hard choices it presented. With free drinks of red and blue, and women short and tall, petite and buxom, there was so much eye candy it was hard to pick just one poison. While UMIX promotes plenty of events in an online/interactive forum, the Cheetah offers another kind of virtual reality, with events such as "Wine, Women and Thong," a Friday tasting event. Word is the Cheetah's restaurant, Alluvia, is quite luscious as well. Look forward to further layers of that "story" being unwrapped.

Gipp steps out: At the Tabernacle Saturday, Erykah Badu mesmerized a packed house, preceded by Goodie Mob's Big Gipp, who previewed his upcoming album, Mutant Mindframe to a hometown crowd. Backstage, Sleepy Brown, Slimm Calhoun, Joi, Dallas Austin and Kujo — along with additional members of the Dungeon Family and Organized Noize — milled about. Later, Gipp and Badu presided at Whiskey Peach, holding it down while the place crunked up.

XXXcitement en masse: No amount of pandemonium could approach Eleven50, however, as the sidewalks were so overflowed, the bodies rivaled the runoff from the previous weeks' torrential rains. People were streaming every which way trying to gain entrance into the "official after-party" for the Justin/Xtina concert. Scooter Braun held onto the velvet rope in the VIP area like a fighter going down in the first. He mentioned that Jamal Anderson, Jermaine Dupri, Mary J. Blige — oh, and the former Mouseketeers — all dropped by at one point or another. Whether Justin or Xtina were ever in attendance depends on whom you ask (this money's on no — yours?), but thanks to a 2 a.m. downpour and a brief police chase, there was excitement aplenty for those of us who had to improvise a way into the ruckus. You never know what's next. Midtown's getting thugged out and wrung out.

Real deal: Those looking for substance over substances on Saturday turned to Mark Farina with Caleb and Kids With Codenames at the Crescent Room and Dego (of 4Hero) with Karl Injex, Cullen Cole and Jamal Ahmed at MJQ. Talk about some Quincy-Jones-in-the-Year-2025 shit. It's nice to still see musicality so thick you can barely cut it.

Until next week, keep one RedEye open. And send all comments, questions, observations and invitations (with the event/date in the subject line) to redeye@creativeloafing.com.