If you were born-in-the 80’s, but move-like-the 90’s and party-in-the 2k’s, you know that finding a blistering-good party is no easy feat and finds you with rather slim selections for a crowd that likes to get down. If doing the cabbage patch or the running man means anything to you, then find below our list of New York City’s best Hip-hop venues, where the old-school and new music matches the mood and moves.
Floor-to-ceiling light sections pulsate to a blend of swift music, and though it is a hotel bar – which is often a more contrived scene than actual fun - 105 Riv is known for its passionate dancing crowds. Though a bit Frenchie in its themed atmosphere, the venue hosts a substantial list of hip-hop spinners to satisfy 105 Riv’s atypical crowd. We can’t think of 105 reasons as to why this spot makes sense, but it does. Wednesday nights are key if you can get in, that is.
Bibbity-bOb-bity-boo. As soon as the hour strikes midnight, this quiet box of a Lower East Side lounge transforms into a raging groove party. (It’s like Cinderella’s carriage, but backwards.) A cast of alternating DJs spins a hearty concoction of hip-hop, reggae and R&B music nightly. A young, hip crowd swathes the dance floor and the door; if you are a single guy trying to gain entrance after 10PM, the gate will be as far as you get. Luckily, bOb parties like its 1999 every night. However, our hip-hop insider says that Wednesdays are best.
Squander away an evening at Sutra Lounge and you may feel as though you’ve died and gone to hip-hop heaven. (As long as you avoid multiples of the specialty martinis.) Though a sensation of an innocent paradise encircles, expect to get down and dirty on the dance floor. This sensual DJ den attracts a rather practiced crowd of dancers and an even more impressive musical line-up. We suggest Tuesday night for a prime position, as Resident DJ Tony Touch spins at Sutra Lounge weekly.
Enter Katra and wander through the décor and you’ll feel like a Honey Buzzard scouring the streets of Casablanca. Conveniently placed on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, you won’t have to hop a flight to Morocco anytime soon because you will feel right at home here with its authentic vibe. This place screams realism with its original furnishings straight from its roots. Regulars enjoy tuning into DJ Reg West’s masterful hip-hop beats while sipping their flavorful cocktails. Not your typical raucous dance party, but Katra is worth a try for your hip-hop musical desires.
With a downtown, Flatiron location, cleverly constructed dance floors, multiple larger-than-life performance spaces, three video screens and an art collection to boot, it comes at no surprise that The Imperial sits atop a list of best NYC venues. But what may surprise you is that we like The Imperial not for its technical specs, but for the music it plays. Spinning a pleasant mix of hip-hop jams – both new and old – guests are able to enjoy the club’s features through the power of the music. A well-known list of DJ’s and performances take the stage nightly, but Thursday night is where its at – at Imperial.
Santo’s Party House
No messing around, here. At Santo’s Party House, dancing is the name of the game and you will find a particularly unpretentious crowd partaking in the action. Luxury isn’t exactly the theme of the interior space at this New York City hotspot, but the state-of-the-art sound systems and expansive dance floors more than make up for the lost lavishness.
On Friday nights, Santo’s features Q-tip and Rich Medina, local favorites of the hip-hop persuasion. And, um, hello. The venue is owned and operated by Andrew W.K., need we say more?
Popularized by its one-of-a-kind Saki bottle service (complete with edamame and specially made fortune cookies!), Suzie Wong has another claim to fame. Touted as the new home of hip-hop, Suzie Wong heats up the old school New York City dance scene with a line-up of rotating all-stars such as DJ’s Kast One, Bobby Trends and DJ Precise. Never mind the Asian-inspired, well, everything - because you don’t need to enjoy Dim Sum and Elderflower to have a great time. After all, Sunday, is the new Friday and Sunday is fun day at Suzie Wong.
Unlike most clubs or event spaces in the city, Promenade has the square footage to create a diverse atmosphere that satisfies even the toughest nightlife critic. The tri-level space contains three very different floors for every different type of party enthusiast, but we prefer it for its hip, hip-pop-anot-tamos scene. This venue draws big names a la Busta Rhymes, Cam’ron, and Cassie; they prepare a rather solid party and event schedule, too. (They’ve hosted the Official NFL Players Association Red Carpet Draft Party and BET’s Rip the Runway After Party.) Promenade is the place that will build a dance party up and never let you down.