| Hip-Hop |

10 Best Hip-Hop Dance Nights in Metro Phoenix

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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.

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.

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.
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  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.

Gringo-Star Street Bar – Going Up on a Tuesday
9 p.m.-2 a.m. | Ages 21+ | No cover
If the old-school arcade games, graffiti-covered walls, and drink specials aren’t enough to draw you into Gringo-Star Street Bar, the Tuesday night music selection definitely should. Local DJs Chris Villa and AJ Slim commandeer the decks on Tuesday evenings, serving up some of the hottest in hip-hop. The college crowd comes out in droves, packing the dance floor as they twerk and flail about singing along to the latest Fetty Wap record. If you’re looking for a good time, this is it. For more information, visit

INTL – Sunday nights 
10 p.m.-2 a.m. | Ages 21+ | No cover

If Sunday Funday and hip-hop are two of your favorite things, you’re in luck. The swanky lounge known as INTL celebrates Sunday night in true hip-hop fashion every week. Be prepared to get blasted by confetti cannons as you get down to a set list comprised mostly of urban rap and hip-hop, spun by DJ Reflection. The bass bumps loudly inside of the club, causing the hairs on the back of your arms to raise and your whole body to shake. Thankfully, the nightclub's outdoor patio provides a bit of relief from the nonstop party going on inside. Aside from their impressive sound system and solid drink specials, INTL has been known to host some live talent during their Sunday night affair. Past performances have included the likes of Kent Jones, KCamp, Jeezyh and Fabolous. For more information, visit facebook.com/INTLAZ.

The Mint – Marquee Fridays
10 p.m.-2 a.m. | Ages 21+ | Cover varies

Formerly a bank, The Mint has transformed into one of Scottsdale’s most glamorous nightclubs. Adorned with marble, rich woods, smoky mirrors and extravagant drapery, the sumptuous venue evokes an upscale vibe, similar to that of a Hollywood nightclub. The 7,000-square-foot club packs itself out, wall-to-wall, weekly with their Marquee Friday event. With special guest performances from hip-hop heavy hitters such as Trinidad James, Lil Uzi Vert, Young Thug, and more, the evening lends itself to more than that of your typical run-of-the-mill bar. Whether you come to lounge out and sip champagne on their al fresco style patio, to dance under the giant LED chandelier, or to fangirl over your favorite rap artist, it can easily be said that The Mint is certainly one of Arizona’s most coveted hip-hop destinations. For more information, visit facebook.com/TheMintAZ.
Rips Ales and Cocktails – Uptown Wednesdays
10 p.m.-2 a.m. | Ages 21+ | No cover

Looking for a hump day pick-me-up? Look no further. Uptown Wednesdays at Rips Ales and Cocktails provides a seamless blend of live art and music. The brainchild of Adam Dumper, or Dumperfoo, and DJ Organic combines stellar visuals with eclectic sounds, including everything from hip-hop classics to funk and electronic, to bring you an evening of sensory delight. For more information, visit facebook.com/rips.bar.7.  Zuma – Monday nights
9 p.m.-2 a.m. | Ages 21+ | No cover

While most are focused on settling into their week during a Monday night, the party is just getting started at Zuma in Tempe. Located down the street from Arizona State University, the 20-something college crowd brings life to Zuma on Monday nights. While resident DJ Chris Villa chops it up on the turntables, the tumultuous audience demonstrates approval of the musical selection, a mix of current and classic hip-hop beats, through their unabashed dance moves. Beware that personal space does not exist at Zuma, but if you’re looking for a wild way to kick off your week it surely is the way to go. For more information, visit facebook.com/ZumaLounge.

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