A Hot Ghetto Mess of Hip-Hop, Art, and B-Boys: The 10-Year Journey of The Blunt Club
|Bionic Jive member and longtime Blunt Club host Emerg McVay|
Emerg McVay...The Host With the Most
Dumper: He's definitely been a big part of this thing. We had Bionic Jive there a few times. Or we'd have Emerg rock a solo set by himself, or me and him would host the poetry together. That was fun just talking shit with him to the crowd. He's an awesome host. Merge brought the whole vibe of it [back] in the day, keeping everybody happy and making sure they're into the show. I miss not having Merge there, cause I don't want to talk to the crowd. I just want to sit behind the turntables and hide.
Pickster: He's the kinda person that just demands attention. If he talks, you listen. He's a funny guy. He's traveled all over the world with Eminem and Proof and a ton of other tours. He's just a seasoned pro. You don't tell him what to do, you give him a list of what we've got going on that night and he handles it like a professional. A good host is like gold.
Poetry and Rhymes
Dumper: A year into it at P.I., I started bringing in stuff I wanted to see, like my friends and groups that I knew. Just throwing in DJs and people I saw at hip-hop shows. "Hey, I heard you have The Blunt Club going on, can you throw me on?" That was before Doug Quick was working with me in the booking. Most of the poets that we had doing spoken word were MCs spitting poetry one night and then come back and rap on other nights. So it went hand-in-hand. Our crowds started getting more hip-hop, but for a while there we had a mixture of old school folks to hip-hop dudes to punkers. It's always been a melting pot of different kinds of people.
Collaborating With the Hip-Hop Scene
Dumper: In the early days, I was frequenting club nights like Kill Mill and collaborating with Drunken Immortals. And some of those nights evolved from what we were doing, and some of what we did evolved from what they were doing. Even Z-Trip and his stuff back in the day influenced what we did at Blunt Club. It also was inspired by a night I was doing with [artist] Jim Mahfood called Move 98 and I'd buy art supplies and spray paint and everybody would paint the back of the fence line at Boston's. And there were DJs and hip-hop. That was probably how I met Keith and Emerg and how they got me to do The Blunt Club.
Pickster: There's been a few Thursdays that popped up but none of 'em were in direct competition with Blunt Club. Even when like Groove Candy moved to Thursdays, people tried to make that a big deal out of it. But we've always been homies and play each other's nights, it's a whole different scene.
Dumper: After a good year, word started spreading to other cities and then we started getting people from L.A. who wanted to play. Then word of The Blunt Club went worldwide.