Emblematic Hip Hop Venues of New York

New York is the headquarters of hip hop—every neighborhood is replete with it. Let’s discover the emblematic places of New York rap history.

Flight Club

812 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

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DJ Kool Herc’s apartment

1520 Sedgwick Avenue, Bronx, NY, État de New York 10453, USA

125th Street (Martin Luther King Blvd) & Apollo Theater

Apollo Theater, 253 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027, États-Unis

The King’s “Castle”

226 St James Pl, Brooklyn, NY, État de New York 11238, États-Unis

Marcy Houses

Marcy Houses, 452 Marcy Ave Brooklyn, NY 11206

The Graffiti Hall of Fame

The Graffiti Hall of Fame

SOB's

SOB's, Varick Street, New York, État de New York, États-Unis

40/40

The 40/40 Club, West 25th Street, NYC, État de New York, États-Unis

Academy Records

Academy Records & CDs Flatiron, 12 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

Academy Records East Village

Academy Records, East 12th Street, New York, État de New York, États-Unis

Academy Records Greenpoint

Academy Records, Oak Street, Brooklyn, État de New York, États-Unis

Graham Court

Graham Court, New York, NY 10026, États-Unis

Wu Island!

Staten Island, État de New York, États-Unis

The Headquarters of Rap: 1520 Sedgwick Avenue

DJ Kool Herc Signed My Tape

DJ Kool Herc Signed My Tape by Richard Alexander Caraballo (Flickr CC)

It was at this address—in DJ Kool Herc’s apartment—that the first block party occurred in 1973. Twenty five cents for girls, double for dudes. The bar overflowed with soft drinks, beers and whiskeys bought in bulk. At the turntables the Maitre D laid down the beat. It was a major success, and the parties continued monthly.

1520 Sedgwick Avenue, Bronx, NY 10453, USA

Rap’s Heartbeat: 125th Street (Martin Luther King Blvd) Harlem

Busy Harlem Street by ArtBrom (Flickr CC)

Busy Harlem Street by ArtBrom (Flickr CC)

This emblematic street of Harlem is home to a number of shops whose iron doors are covered with graffiti from local artists. Street peddlers line the alleys and soul food restaurants abound. Every aspect gives soul to the neighborhood, which was home to many famous rappers such as Q-Tip, P. Diddy, and Azealia Banks. This street is also home to one of the most prestigious concert halls of black music: the Apollo Theater.

125th St (Martin Luther King blvd), New York, NY 10027
Apollo Theater : 253 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027

The King’s “Castle”

Brooklyn - Clinton Hill - Notorious B.I.G. by Wally Gobetz (Flickr CC)

Brooklyn – Clinton Hill – Notorious B.I.G. by Wally Gobetz (Flickr CC)

Notorious B.I.G, the self-proclaimed and undisputed King of NY, grew up in apartment 3L and sold, according to legend, crack in these streets. It was here that he participated in his first battles and distributed his first mixtapes, which he sold beneath his jacket. With inevitable gentrification, the only remains of this time period are a few pieces of street art glorifying the assassinated king. In the same area you can also find the Marcy Houses, the public housing where Jay-Z—considered the new King of NY—grew up.

The King’s “Castle”, 226 St James Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Marcy Houses, 452 Marcy Ave Brooklyn, NY 11206

The Graffiti Hall of Fame

The 2014 Edition of The NYC Graffiti Hall of Fame by j-No (Flickr CC)

The 2014 Edition of The NYC Graffiti Hall of Fame by j-No (Flickr CC)

Graffiti is an integral part of hip hop, and it is most familiar in New York. Although the legendary 5 Pointz—considered the Mecca of graffiti—closed its doors in 2013, street art is still present in a number of other places—notably the Bushwick neighborhood—where the hall of fame is located. Created in the 80s, it still exists thirty years later and allows the biggest contemporary graffiti artists to leave their mark to the rest of the world.

The Graffiti Hall of Fame, E 106th St at Park Ave, New York, NY 10029

You Saw It Here First: SOB’s (Sounds of Brazil)

wale IV by Brett Renfer (Flickr CC)

wale IV by Brett Renfer (Flickr CC)

High end club of the New York nightlife for thirty five years, based on live music where the brazilian and latino rhythms mingle with the sounds of hip hop and R&B, this club has held performances by the best in the industry like Kanye West, Common and Drake (among others). The intimate ambiance that reigns in the place enhances the proximity of the artist and fan, which gives it its own uniqueness and charm.

SOB’s, 204 Varick St, New York, NY 10014

The Boss’s Club : 40/40

 


 

Jay-Z is probably, along with P. Diddy, the most gifted rapper in the game, with an estimated net worth of 610 million dollars according to the 2016 Forbes magazine. With this title, he was one of the first to possess a complete panoply: record label (Roc-A-Fella Records), fashion line (Rocawear), wife, equally famous, (Beyonce, in case you’ve lived on Mars for the past ten years), and, the icing on the cake, the 40/40. A club halfway between sports bar and chic night club with a lounge ambiance. Just to give you an idea if you haven’t been able to obtain a vip ticket to the club.

40/40, 6 W 25th St, New York, NY 10010

The Essential Sneaker Shop: Flight Club

Flight Club NYC @ SoHo by Childish Gandino (Flickr CC)

Flight Club NYC @ SoHo by Childish Gandino (Flickr CC)

Sneakers are to rappers what diamonds are to monarchs, the final accessory that makes them who they are. From Run DMC to Kanye West, without forgetting Kendrick Lamar, almost everyone has dedicated at least a rhyme, verse or song to sneakers. When you’re talking about sneakers, you’re talking about collections. At this level the greatest living museum of the sneaker is Flight Club, a place of cults— for buying/selling—where you can find almost anything you desire. The classic models in limited edition, all the way to the most vintage of sneaker, with prices ranging from 100 dollars to more than 5,000, for the most rare.

Flight Club, 812 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

The DJ’s Temple: Academy Records

Academy Records by Gareth Christopher (Flickr CC)

Academy Records by Gareth Christopher (Flickr CC)

Another fundamental aspect of hip hop by which the purists swear is DJing with vinyl. And they get their vinyls at the most reputed record shop in the big apple, Academy Records, a true institution with a well stocked inventory of rap beats. There are two addresses, one in Brooklyn and another in Manhattan which also has a great CD selection. After all, the vinyls are made principally for the DJs, but music lovers can equally enjoy them, without even having to buy them!

Academy Records & CDs Flatiron, 12 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011
Academy Records & CDs East Village, 415 E 12th St, New York, NY 10009
Academy Records & CDs Greenpoint, 85 Oak St, Brooklyn, NY 11222

The Neighborhood Group: Wu Tang

 


 
This neighborhood is most known—by non New Yorkers—for little more than its legendary rap group, whose nine members had a major influence across the entire world. Named the greatest rap group of all time by about.com pioneers of musical innovations—massive usage of groove samples transformed into somber, minimilast and even commercial instrumentals, with different labels for each member. Wu wear was their fashion line that remains an amazing business model. They basically have the right to order Staten Island changed to Wu Island!

Staten Island, NY 10030

The Most Cinematic: Graham Court

 

Une vidéo publiée par Mike (@majtague) le


 

If there is a film about New York City that truly shaped the popular image in rap, it’s New Jack City. It recounts the rise and inevitable fall of a crack dealer in the heart of the epidemic that ravaged the village. The main crack factory was in this massive building with such specific architecture: Graham Court. Noting as well that many principle scenes from Jungle Fever are filmed there as well. Since then it has been rehabilitated and rented only to the affluent.

Graham Court, New York, NY, 10026

Julien Giacalone As far as Julien can remember he always wanted to be a gangster. Unlike Henry Hill, he mostly became a writer. But a strong part of him is still anti-establishment. Which part? Only the good half.
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