Sex and the Suburbs: Hip hop is alive and well in Vancouver

In the 1970s, hip hop was an underground genre beginning to emerge. It started as a form of artistic expression through urban dance parties DJed by hip hop emcees and supported by grassroots local radio and, since that time, its popularity has only grown. Fast forward to present day, and hip hop is everywhere. Although many hip hop artists have strayed from its origins, there are still those out there who showcase hip hop’s original values of social consciousness and streetwise knowledge. And fortunately, some of these artists can be found right here in Vancouver.

Chance the Rapper (who Jordan lovingly refers to as Chaaaaance), for instance, is a modern day hip hop genius whom we both adore. After seeing him at the Pemberton Music Festival, we could not help but notice his positive attitude which is a contrast to some of the other acts at his level. With his most recent release of “Wonderful Everyday,” a rendition of the Arthur theme song, how can anyone not love this guy?

An East Coast classic, Nas, is coming to Vancouver on October 16 for two shows at the Vogue. He will screen the documentary, Nas: Time is Illmatic, to mark the 20th anniversary of his unprecedented Illmatic album. He will then perform this classic record, one of the best hip hop albums of all time, from start to finish, with some of his other hits sprinkled throughout.

Can’t afford a concert ticket? Vancouver has a host of great hip hop clubs at your disposal. At Five Sixty on Friday night you can enjoy three levels of turnt. We prefer the bottom level where DJs spin hip hop orgasms and you can booty quake with the best of them. If this sounds like your cup of tea make sure that you show up early! The line outside of Five Sixty on Fridays is one anaconda you do not want to mess with.

Shine nightclub on Saturdays is another worthy venue. It has great music and a cool vibe, especially when some of the more eclectic regulars dress to impress. The red room at the back of the club is a personal favourite of ours. This sanctuary offers the chance to people watch, chat, and refuel before returning to the battle ground to dance the rest of the night away.

For the gay hip hop connoisseur who relishes the chance to unbutton the Prada and don a greasy snap-back and oversized tank (speaking purely from experience here), check out Hustla at the Cobalt. This spot proudly advertises its “Homo Hip Hop night,” and what an event! From the dancers on stage, to drag queens strutting about, this event is a guaranteed good time for LGBTQ and LGBTQ-friendly individuals. One note: this event happens sporadically, so it is important to keep your ear to the ground (or facebook) if you want to attend.