Top 10 Twin Cities hip-hop venues
|Photo by Erik Hess|
|Killer Mike at Fine Line|
Gimme Noise gathered together a list of the best places in town to catch hip-hop shows. Keep an eye on these venues if you want to take part in the Twin Cities' thriving scene.
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|Photo by B Fresh Photography|
|Too $hort at Epic|
110 N. 5th St., Minneapolis
Epic grudgingly found its way onto this list despite a myriad of issues thanks to the consistency of rap shows that come through. The venue definitely has its share of problems -- whoever put the bathroom, coat check, and front door all right next to each other is asking for fights to break out in the never-ending and poorly defined lines that ensue -- but they can be worth tolerating depending on who's playing that night. The former Quest is a larger-sized club that can accommodate acts like Future, Kendrick Lamar, E-40, Young Jeezy, T.I., and stars on this level. Plus, the venue brings new big names through on a regular basis. The VIP section draws most of the people looking to pop bottles and not pay any attention, so the main floor can feel like a more close-knit show even when the place is packed. Regular house DJs Enferno and Advance consistently hold down the show with solid rap mixes. The bookends of the night might be exceedingly frustrating, but the club is known to bring in rappers that at one point wouldn't dream of making the trip up here.
|Photo by B Fresh Photography|
|2 Chainz at Myth|
3090 Southlawn Drive, Maplewood
While Myth only occasionally brings in hip-hop acts, in the case of rappers like recent 2 Chainz or Nas -- who have both hit the suburban venue in the past -- there is really no better place to house giant acts that could draw enough of a crowd to hit a behemoth like Xcel or Target Center. Rap is all about personality and larger-than-life figures, and when rappers become dwarfed by the space they play, the impact is never the same. Myth's sprawling suburban hugeness matches the draw and ego of rap's biggest names while still maintaining an appropriate club feel. The architecture of the place creates quality sight lines in the building, so there's no need to squeeze behind sweaty drunks and flailing elbows to get a glimpse of the stage. Similar to Epic, it can sometimes be worth the hassle to head to Myth to catch a rap show you likely wouldn't be able to see elsewhere.
|Photo by Zach McCormick|
|Midway Felix at Cause|
3001 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis
Known for regular rap events like the monthly Rap Blitz and numerous local CD releases, Cause is a great place to catch a slice of the local rap scene. It's not surprising to find rappers milling about and drinking, randomly hopping on stage to perform, or even conducting important business meetings. The friendly atmosphere and openness to multiple styles of music made this Uptown bar a go-to spot for rappers to host events, and it makes for a tightly knit, though not claustrophobic, crowd for when touring rappers like Psalm One decide to roll through. Mostly you'll find eager music fans in attendance, ready to nod their heads and drink a bunch, and that alone makes for a really great rap experience.