When you want to get out and go clubbing, you usually have two choices here in California. You can either go to mainstream club, which plays all the latest popular tracks, or you can hit up an EDM (electronic dance music) club, which usually hosts a local or traveling DJ. The main difference between the two is obviously the music, but I have found other discrepancies which might make one type of club more appealing than the other. The following are categories which I will use to characterize both types of clubs.

The Music: Attendees of EDM clubs will usually point to this category as the sole reason why they visit the club, while attendees of top40 clubs usually don’t go for the tunes. Whenever I hear that one of my favorite DJ’s is coming into town, I will undoubtedly shell out the big bucks to go hear him spin. I have never gone to a hip hop club thinking, “man, I can’t wait to hear what the DJ spins” because usually, 98% of the time, you can hear the same songs on the radio. I cannot even begin to count how many clubs I’ve been to where the DJ doesn’t even mix their music. The club managers might as well be playing songs directly from a CD: no DJ necessary. On the other hand, when you go to an EDM club, you will notice that everyone is facing in the direction of the DJ. Strange huh? I have gotten used to this… think of it as a concert, with everyone engaged in the performance of the night. I like to think of it as a journey, where the music is the trainride and the DJ is the conductor.

Occasionally the DJ at a top40 club will do a good job, spinning more than just radio hits and one-hit-wonders. Some DJ’s actually mix their tracks, spin mashups, and scratch during their sets… but for the most part, the safe bet for good, enjoyable music would be to attend an EDM event.

The Crowds: This one is usually the dealbreaker for me. I don’t know about clubs on the east coast, but over here in Cali, there are a handful of classy clubs scattered here and there. The remaining clubs, however, are ghetto as fuck and should only be attended when you’re rollin in large groups (for protection purposes). Is it just me or are EDM clubs filled wtih less thugs and ho’s? It seems like people are friendlier, usually more intelligent, and less menacing than patrons at hiphop clubs. Too many times have I been stared down or accused of doing something wrong at a hiphop club, which has made me start looking over my shoulder. This shouldn’t be anyone’s main concern when they’re trying to have a good night out.

The Atmosphere: This and the above topic are closely related because the atmosphere is usually a product of how the crowd behaves. At EDM clubs, everyone’s into the music, dancing, socializing, and having a good time. At hiphop clubs, guys are either standing around, mugging other guys, or hitting on girls. Here’s where the different intentions make a difference… while girls go to clubs to dance with their girlfriends, guys go to clubs to hit on girls. In my eyes, this is what creates most of the conflict that goes down in hiphop clubs. Guys get protective and start safeguarding their girls, which in turn makes other guys more apprehensive. The hostility level gets raised even further when alcohol is involved.

At EDM clubs, there seems to be less advances on women, and even when they do occur, they are handled in a much more mature fashion. Girls and guys both seem to be more polite, and pleasantries are exchaged with less stress in the air. Guys don’t get in each other’s faces as much and there are hardly any fights (very big plus), whereas there is always a fight breaking out at a top40 club.

Another interesting observation is that there is less bumpin and grindin goin on at EDM clubs. This is probably due to the style of  music; dance music is faster and hardly ever sends out the message to start gettin freaky on the dance floor. On the other hand, some hiphop tracks get down right nasty and are frequently degrading towards women, but the funny thing is that girls keep dancing to it. Ladies, don’t expect guys to not treat you like a ho when you’re dancing like a ho to a song written about hoes. Don’t get me wrong… gettin down is fun times, but I feel like it creates even more competition amongst the dudes to get with girls, leading to more problems.

Sure, both clubs are fun to attend when circumstances are right. There are some really nice top40 clubs out there where you can have an enjoyable time with a great crowd. From my experiences though.. if you like to avoid shady crowds and unnecessary drama and are into dance music, you belong in EDM clubs. If you don’t like dance music and would prefer to get freaky, fucked up, and get into fights, go to a top40 club. I always end up going to top40 clubs because a lot of my friends aren’t into dance music, but I know deep down which type I actually prefer. Hope to see you all at the next EDM event!