10 Best Hip-Hop Dance Nights in Metro Phoenix

DJ Robby Rob in the mix downstairs at Bar Smith.EXPAND
DJ Robby Rob in the mix downstairs at Bar Smith.
Benjamin Leatherman

As Rakim once said, "It ain't where you're from, it's where you're at." Regardless of whether or not you are a self-proclaimed hip-hop head (knows who Rakim is) or a novice (hasn't the slightest clue) looking to explore the scene, it can easily be said that the following list of venues are certainly where you should be at when it comes to hip-hop in the Valley. Read on to learn about the 10 best hip-hop nights in Arizona.

AQUA – Fantasy Fridays
9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. | Ages 21+ | No cover before 10 p.m.

Fantasy Fridays at Aqua Nightclub is Arizona’s exclusive night for members of the LGBTQ community who love hip-hop. With talents such as Miss DJ MJ and DJ Javin on the turntables, the nightclub boasts an impressive weekly lineup composed of members of the Valley’s female DJ community. If you’re looking for a night that energetically blends dope music with local art and fashion, AQUA is the answer. For more information, visit the event's Facebook page.

David Dimmick, better known as Fact135.
David Dimmick, better known as Fact135.
Benjamin Leatherman

Bar Smith – DOPE
10 p.m.-2 a.m. | Ages 21+ | No cover

Anticipation builds as one continues to hear and feel the persistent bass thump while waiting in the ever-growing line outside of Bar Smith on a Friday night. While dance music aficionados shuffle upstairs on the rooftop deck, hip-hop heads congregate downstairs in the main room. DOPE is exactly that, a uniquely cool night centered around hip-hop music from some of the genre's most notable artists. One minute you’ll be getting down to an ill remix of Kendrick Lamar’s “m.A.A.d city,” and the next you’ll find yourself bobbing along to the beat of a J. Dilla track. Hosted by Coolin Out Lifestyle Brand and featuring resident DJs Fact135 and TrickyT, the party goes down every Friday night. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/BarSmithAZ.

DJ Cutswell in the mix at CAKE in Scottsdale.
DJ Cutswell in the mix at CAKE in Scottsdale.
Derrick Jones-Nelson

CAKE –  #PoliteAsF*ckSundays
10 p.m.-2 a.m. | Ages 21+ | No cover
With whimsical chateau-meets-Alice in Wonderland décor and a lingerie clad staff, CAKE serves up a slice of the hip-hop community like you’ve never seen before. Entering the nightclub makes you feel as though you’ve just fallen down the rabbit hole and landed on the the set of a P. Diddy music video. The booming sound of 808 drums through the clubs impressive sound system makes it damn near impossible to not “shake ya tailfeather.” With a roster of past celebrity performances that have included the likes of Roscoe Dash and Riff Raff, Sunday nights are next level at this nightclub. For more information, visit facebook.com/CakeNightclubScottsdale.

There is more than just Pokémon Go being played at Cobra Arcade Bar.
There is more than just Pokémon Go being played at Cobra Arcade Bar.
Benjamin Leatherman

Cobra Arcade Bar – Saturday nights
10 p.m. - 2 a.m. | Ages 21+ | No cover

Cobra Arcade Bar hums with activity every day of the week; however, Saturdays draw out the dancing crowd. Level up at the bar with a video-game-themed cocktail and socialize comfortably with friends as you partake in a game or two on one of the 40 different consoles. An assortment of hip-hop and today's top 40 can be heard casually playing out over the consistent pings, beeps, and clanks of the machines. Hip-hop heads and gaming nerds alike will enjoy the upbeat atmosphere this establishment has to offer. Put that change that’s been sitting in your car's cup holder to good use, and pay a visit to Cobra for dancing, drinks, and fun. For more information, visit facebook.com/CobraArcade.

Crescent Ballroom loves hip-hop.EXPAND
Crescent Ballroom loves hip-hop.
Melissa Fossum

Crescent Ballroom  Old School '90s R&B and Hip-Hop Summer  Friday nights
9 p.m.-2 a.m. | Ages 21+ | $5.00 cover
Featuring everything from The Notorious B.I.G. and Nas to Prince and En Vogue, this new night delivers a selection of the '90s most iconic hip-hop and R&B tracks. The old-school soundtrack, provided by resident DJs Slick 76 and Melo, is the perfect complement to Crescent Ballroom's low-key vibe. The intimately sized venue packs out for this event, so unless you’d like to dance and rap along to the verses of your favorite Biggie tracks from the line outside, I’d suggest arriving early. Otherwise, sip on your favorite cocktail, scarf down an order of dank tacos, and dance your ass off as you relive the '90s. For more information, visit facebook.com/CrescentPHX.


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