A Hot Ghetto Mess of Hip-Hop, Art, and B-Boys: The 10-Year Journey of The Blunt Club
|Souls of Mischief perform at the Blunt Club|
The Alternative Hip-Hop Tip
Pickster: We've always had that classic hip-hop feel that everyone grew up on and loves. We've just always kept that. We never really went for the mainstream, newest Top 40 stuff. We occasionally mix it in because once in awhile there is good Top 40 songs, but for the most part we've always maintained a focus on good hip-hop. Really it's our crowd who want to hear that stuff and come back because they know what they're gonna get. It's funny because we've had some of the best DJs come through and they try to do what they're used to, like rank-and-file shit, and we tell 'em, "Just play some hip-hop." Sure enough, by the end of the set they say, "I haven't been able to do that for years." Its just classic party hip-hop you don't hear elsewhere, man.
Dumper: And we do a lot of live stuff too that's the newest in underground hip-hop every week. You never knew what to expect, whether it's a jazz band coming through or a reggae group, or electronic stuff. It's been a mixture of all different types of stuff. We had a symphony violinist [Daniel Bernard Roumain] last year who was killer and did classic hip-hop songs on violin.
B-Boys and Nunchuks
Pickster: We've had some of the best b-boys in the world come though, because they know if they show up at any given time the DJs at The Blunt Club can throw it down. Furious Styles Crew have been big supporters over the years and still come out.
Dumper: One of my best things to happen there was when a wushu kung-fu team came in with swords, staffs, knives, and nunchuks. And they did a whole show in the middle of Hollywood Alley, where dudes were kicking the ceiling and like flinging these friggin' staffs with swords on the end. It was the craziest night. There were people were gathered around in a b-boy circle while they're knife fighting at the bar.
It was the coolest shit I've ever seen. Those guys are like Buddhist monk ninjas who were killing it for like 20 minutes. Luckily no one died. It was our first couple of weeks at Hollywood Alley and I tried to bring in the weirdest shit imaginable back then, like "I want a kung-fu team at The Blunt Club." We were kinda worried about things, like if we had the right insurance. Ross loved it and was laughing the entire time.
J. Jones A typical Blunt Club crowd.
Theme Nights and Special Guests
Pickster: The theme nights are fun, like we did A Tribe Called Quest versus De La Soul [one week]. That was dope. We did East Coast versus West Coast with basically two sets of turntables. One setup would play East Coast and the other setup would do West Coast. And Dumper drew and shit, like some big giant Eastside and Westside hand signs that battled it out.
Hyder: I really liked it when Grupo Fantasma, a 13-piece Latin band from Texas came out and gave the Blunt a whole new vibe. And a whole bunch of new people came to check out the music.
Dumper: For me, it's always been about some of the classic hip-hop acts we've hosted like Souls of Mischief Or Jeru the Damaja, that was a great night. I could go for days. Digable Planets was one of the biggest for me. I knew when we started this thing out I wanted to bring out Pharcyde and Digable Planets, two of the groups from the 90s that I grew up skating to and listened to every day.
Pickster: We had Black Sheep and became friends with Dres and DJ'd for him a couple times and we became homies. That was awesome. And he'd call up Doug and want to come out go golfing. It was like, yeah, I'm going golfing with Dres. Wild stuff. Afrika Bambaataa came through and was all over the place had a great time. He was playing electronica and Baltimore club music. It was so funny. It's like these icons you looked up to your entire life and they're down to earth good people.