Music » Brittney After Dark

Hip-Hop Marks The Spot

Locating the best beats in the city QC after dark

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A few weeks ago, I told you about the Goblin in all it's goth and glory. Well, it is now called The Spot. The interior décor changed from gothic to graffiti and the crowd from the Room went to The Spot.

But is The Spot, "the spot?" It hosts events like Big Mama's House of Burlesque, Rockabilly Riot, and "Blunted at the Spot" with DJ Buddy of Deep Selector plus DJ Shortkut of the BeatJunkies, which drew a crowd that was somewhere between hippie and homie, eccentric as the neighborhood it's in -- Plaza-Midwood. I felt like I was in some NYC East Village bar, and I must've been too busy in the past examining the scary pictures decorating the Goblin to notice that the view from the second floor of that old church really makes you feel like you're in the city.

The Spot typically plays hip-hop music with its old-school, new-school combo, and with the good tunes came a good vibe. There was a lot of head bobbin' going on, but no one was utilizing the dance floor and the good beats were wasted. It was like I was in a room full of bobble head dolls. Right off the dance floor, there was an old-school arcade room where patrons were head bobbin' while playing Pac-Man. Steeple, Goblin, Spot ... whatever you call it, it still has a partying-in-a-church feel.

The Spot's biggest night is Monday, which is No Crunk Karaoke open mic. Snap, Crackle, but no Crunk is its rule; the recipe for real hip-hop is mixing one part dope beat with part slick rhyme and blending it with three-dollar Heinekens. Regular Wolly Vinyl rips the mic there each week with his artistic form of hip-hop. And blowing up The Spot last Monday was Parrish Smith formerly of platinum-selling rap group EPMD and now with Hit Squad. I even got a little exclusive freestyle from the legendary MC, and being in the presence of such hip-hop royalty made me bow down.

On Saturday, I checked out Battle SlamJam at Grayson Skate Park where skating and hip-hop cultures competed, going craft for craft in a battle of the arts. Those arts ranging between DJ scratch offs, hip-hop dancing, LA-based dance styles krumping and pop and locking, freestyle slam, visual artistry, and of course, skateboarding.

Is it hard out there for a pimp? That is TBD, but I can tell you that, judging by the crowd for SummerFest (and all other hip-hop related events attended this week), it's hard for a hip-hop artist. Taking it to the Streets Music, the hip-hop version of American Idol, took it to Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. They gave local rappers like Yung S Dub and GuttaBoys a chance to shine alongside big (and misspelled) names like Yung Joc and Jeezy, E-40, Bo Hagon, Rick Ross, and Oscar winners Three 6 Mafia.

It went dowwwwwwwwwwwn in the media room where I got to interview some of those in the line-up. Local boys GuttaBoys claim that Crush is their spot, and they're on the bill for the Mid-Atlantic Music Conference coming up there -- so go and check out your local lyricists.

But more importantly, the backstage media room at Verizon proudly displayed its Creative Loafing "Best Of" plaques for winning "Best Music Venue."

Speaking of Best Of, the best party of them all was reportedly the Creative Loafing Best Of Charlotte party at Extravaganza Depot. My invitation for the internationally themed shindig came in the form of a green card, and it acted like a ticket to the world at Epcot Center. Sadly, I couldn't attend the party, but sources tell me that each corner of the room represented a different country. RenElvis, Charlotte's own Elvis impersonator and the "ambassador" for the Best of Charlotte issue, was the feature attraction. Hip-hop it was not, but the Philippino-born Charlotte icon is like nothing else.

Psssstttt ... If you have any dirt or inside scoop on nightlife, shoot me an e-mail at brittney.cason@creativeloafing.com.

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