Best Hip-Hop Club - 2012
Club Red/Red Owl
The March shooting at a Nipsey Hussle show at the Clubhouse Music Venue in Tempe was a low point for the Valley hip-hop scene but hardly was indicative of the vibes cultivated by promoters like Sean Healy Presents and Universatile Music just down the street at Club Red/The Red Owl. The split club hosts punk, metal, and rock acts, too, but really shines with performances by hip-hop legends Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest and Talib Kweli and buzzy up-and-comers like Big K.R.I.T. and Brooklyn rapper Action Bronson (the latter performed part of his set from the Club Red bathroom). The selections walk the thin line between arty backpack rap and street-credible and savvy bangers, but consistently prove that the city's hip-hop tastes run deep.