For about a year, David "DJ Faded" Casillas and his partner Hector "DJ Kieto" Topete have promoted hip-hop nights on Fridays at Club Mystere in Tijuana.
"We hardly have any problems down there," says Casillas. "People are scared of the cops in Tijuana or they are scared of the security guards."
Casillas and Topete have been doing hip-hop events for eight years.
"We started doing all-age parties in La Mesa," says Casillas. The opportunity to host shows at Mystere (formerly Rancho Grande) prompted the duo to move their operations to TJ. Six months ago, they started bringing in rappers for once-a-month showcases. Now, Casillas's biggest concern is with a competing TJ bar.
"Club Animales is two blocks away, on [Avenida] Revolución.... If we get [Oakland rapper] E-40, they will get Pit Bull or some other big name to play on the same night."
Casillas alleges that the inter-club duel involves stealing away popular DJs and infiltrating the other's operation with spies. Casillas admits that he and Topete have retaliated against Club Animales.
"One night they had DJ Quik for a show," says Casillas. "We knew his agent, so we met him at his hotel room. We ended up hanging out with him all night. He didn't get to the club until 3 a.m. Their show is supposed to start at midnight."
Albert Calderon, promoter/marketing director at Club Animales, agrees that the two TJ dance clubs have been going after the same patrons for seven years, but he says the idea of an inter-club fight is silly.
"Each club has its own following," says Calderon, who denies there is any spying. He concurs that DJ Quik did not show for a promised Club Animales show, but he says it had nothing to do with sabotage.
"His agent called me around 11 p.m.," says Calderon, "and he said they wanted the second half of their pay paid to him in the U.S. before he would come down. It took time to cross the border. We couldn't get it to him in time."
Both clubs pass out flyers to pedestrians crossing the border, and both clubs' cover charge ($18 for men, $15 for women) provides patrons with all they can drink. Casillas describes one scheme to try and edge out Club Animales:
"Next year you have to have a passport to come to Mexico. So, we have a promotion where if you are here 30 times, we will pay for your [$97] passport fee at a post office."
On June 29, Club Mystere hosts the Federation (from Oakland).