A Hot Ghetto Mess of Hip-Hop, Art, and B-Boys: The 10-Year Journey of The Blunt Club
|A packed house at The Blunt Club|
New Venues and Big Problems
Dumper: Because of the venue size we had to get a bigger venue we moved it to Hollywood Alley in 2005. Ross [Wincek] is an awesome guy. We had some of my favorite times there. It was good food, good people, and an anything goes kinda thing over there. Some of our best times and our best shows. Crazy people showing up all the time. You never knew what was gonna happen. It was sold out every week. The reason we went to Club Red in 2008 was because it was around the time that Ross' mom passed away and they were having some financial problems [at Hollywood Alley] and we thought it might be smart to move. We probably should've stayed there.
Pickster: We've coulda thrown in the towel a couple times if we wanted to. For instance, when it was Club Red. It was just a big venue to fill. And for a year and a half we filled the place with 800 people every week. It went good at that spot for a while. I lost count at the number of times we packed the place. Some of the shows, the line was all the way to the Jack in the Box. And then when the economy started dipping, people couldn't afford to go to big name shows every week our attendance started dropping. And now we're a free night at the Yucca.
Dumper: There's been a few times when I wanted to. Me and Doug went into debt bringing in a couple of big shows. We were trying to do a national acts every week and fill an 800-person venue and that started hurting our pockets and our pride. We were trying to do something cool that people weren't supporting. And we were trainwrecking as the economy was getting really bad.
The Legacy of the Blunt Club:
Hyder: I would easily say we were the premier hip-hop night in Arizona. There were some other cats out there doing some things, but the amount of people we brought to The Blunt Club -- from Black Sheep to the Hieroglyphics to Roc Raida -- nobody else in Arizona was doing that. I've had DJs worldwide tell me there's not vibe like at The Blunt Club. Just the art, the b-boys, and the DJs, and the way that way that everyone's cohesive with one another, whether you're a painter, or a breakdancer, or a rapper...it doesn't compare to anywhere else. We booked internationally known artists and gave them a taste of Arizona. "Hey, Arizona is not a sleepy pudding, we get down out here too."
Pickster: It's got this special vibe that doesn't happen anywhere else [in Arizona]. I'm sure there are other nights somewhere in other places in the United States that are similar, but most people who come through Arizona say there's nothing like it.
The Blunt Club's 10-Year Anniversary celebrations take place tonight at Yucca Tap Room in Tempe and on Friday at Hollywood Alley in Mesa. Both events start at 8 p.m. Admission is $5.