A video of battling nightclubbers emptying expensive liquor onto the floor caused a stir on social media.
Many viewers thought the concept of a "bottle war" was wasteful or downright "dumb."
But one DJ who regularly hosts these events said they've long been a part of hip hop culture to flex wealth.
A video of a so-called "bottle war" in a Houston nightclub shows two different parties — one from New York and the other from Baltimore — emptying out liquor onto the floor in an apparent flex-off.
"Pour that shit the fuck out!" a voice booms on a microphone as the two parties gesture at one another from across the club.
"Na the bottle war was crazy!!" the TikToker @Jordan2x captioned his video, which has racked up over half a million views since it was shared last week. It was subsequently reshared by the internet personality DJ Akademiks on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, where it has been viewed 30.8 million times.
"In Houston rich dudes are having 'bottle wars,'" Dj Akademiks wrote, "meaning they buy expensive liquor and instead of drinking it pour it out to flex on other dudes in the club."
Commenters on TikTok were flummoxed. "Our generation is so dumb," one wrote. "This is ignorant & poor money management," another added. Some viewers speculated that it was the end of the night and patrons were ostentatiously finishing off bottles they couldn't take home.
But Rocky Montana, who's been a nightclub DJ for 19 years, and who posted his own bottle war video in the wake of the viral conversation, told Insider he first observed the trend nine years ago while on tour with singer T-Pain in Atlanta.
"Bottle wars are different everywhere," he said. "It's something that started in the culture that nobody really talks about."
He said the trend has grown in popularity over the years — so much so that, this summer, he started hosting bottle wars on Sundays at Bridgers nightclub, where he DJs in Kansas City. Montana explained that there's a point system to reward different bottle purchases, with extra credit given to those who spill them out.
"The spilling out — that's just the extra flex," he said.
The group of guys in the video he shared poured out five or six bottles of Don Julio 1942 Tequila, which is priced at about $900 each, he said. The most Montana has ever seen deployed by one party in a single bottle war was $10,000, he told Insider.
As for criticisms that it's "dumb" or wasteful, or marks a hassle for those tasked with cleaning up, Montana said bar staff likely aren't disgruntled because the extravagant purchases mean more in tips.
He also believes people shouldn't be shamed for how they choose to spend their money.
"Why do guys buy big cars with big rims on them? Why do people buy Gucci, Prada, Louis V? People like to shine," he said. "We can't judge what other people do with their money. We just have to watch our own pockets."
Read the original article on Insider