FRI 7/15 As Flavor Flav and Vanilla Ice can tell you, it's a shame to sell millions of records, then squander your fortune and end up on The Surreal Life. Better to play your cards like Russell Simmons, who made his money in hip-hop and learned the meaning of the words investment portfolio.
Friday, Simmons' Hip-Hop Summit Action Network hosts "Get Your Money Right," a seminar about personal finance. Dr. Ben Chavis, the network's CEO, underscored the need for it: "With cell phones, some youth ruin their credit score before they finish high school."
The event brings together money guru Suze Orman, MTV's La La, and hip-hop celebrities like Doug E. Fresh and Damon Dash (pictured). The meeting takes place at Mansion (1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). "I think it's the first time Mansion has been used as an educational forum," Chavis mused. Get free tickets through FM radio station 103.5 The Beat, or visit www.hsan.org.
Also in Miami: "How Can I Be Down?," a four-day summit for aspiring rappers, with panels like "Getting a Distribution Deal" and "Hot Producers." It costs $400; visit www.hcibd.com. A concert at Mansion on Sunday night features Prince Markie D of the Fat Boys, Doug E. Fresh, Slik Rik, Dania Dane, Chubb Rock, Nice & Smooth, and Special Ed. Tickets cost $40. -- Deirdra Funcheon
Guess who gets to wield the key?
SAT 7/16Camille Paglia would have a field day with this one -- a singles icebreaker where the women wear padlocks and the men carry keys. Unlike speed dating, in which you have a brief sitdown with each possible suitor, here you'll spend the evening meeting new people while fingering your lock or lifting your key. If the key fits, you can stay together or start all over.
Historians of ancient civilizations tell us that back in the bell-bottom-wearing '70s, swinging couples met at suburban houses, where the men would drop their car keys in a bowl and the women would fish them out. Zoom, zoom, zoom. The Lock and Key Party at Delux Lounge (16 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach) is a bit tamer, promising take-home prizes like free cruises rather than take-home sex (although, who knows?). If you have a flash of first-sight love and the key doesn't fit? Be prepared. Bring some bolt cutters. Check-in is at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $20. Call 754-264-5109. -- Dave Amber
Natives keeping it native
SAT 7/16 When 32-year-old Randolph Dukes hatched the Local Tourist Club last month, he did so at the behest of friends who wanted something to do other than stay out all night swigging Red Bull and vodka. So the Fort Lauderdale native with a yen for his community responded by gathering a group of 20 or so folks to meet at the Miami Museum of Art. The result was the first of many trips to come. "The whole point," Dukes explains, "is to get out there and look around your community. Admission is the price of wherever we're going." The club meets on the third Saturday of every month. The second get-together will be on Saturday, July 16, at Rapids Water Park (6566 N. Military Trl., West Palm Beach). Call 754-366-7799, or visit www.localtouristclub.com. -- John Shannon
SAT 7/16 Saddle up your pony and head to Montella Park (1231 N. 69th Way, Hollywood) for a country-themed outdoor concert featuring the band Saddle Creek. On tap: line-dancing lessons, mechanical bull rides, and a classic car and motorcycle show. Bring props -- the evening also includes contests for Best Ten-Gallon Hat, Best Lone Ranger and Tonto, and Best-Decorated Picnic Area. It's free. Call 954-921-3404. -- Deirdra Funcheon