A new outlet for hip-hop culture and turntablist gear will make its debut this evening along Roosevelt Row, just in time for this month's edition of First Friday. Coolin' Out Hip-Hop Shop, a new brick-and-mortar boutique run by the local nightlife promoter and clothing company of the same name, is opening in one of the ground-level retail spaces at Artisan Village.
David Dimmick, a partner in Coolin' Out along with nightlife impresario Chuck Huus, says that the shop will focus on all four elements of hip-hop culture, which (for those of you who need a refresher) includes rapping, turntablism, graf art, and b-boy dancing.
"It's all about the culture of hip-hop, so you're going to see b-boy shit, turntables, graf shit, microphones . . . everything that encompasses hip-hop and what it used to be," he says. "That's what we're all about."
Dimmick, who performs as DJ Fact135, says that Coolin' Out's shop will also bring together work from a rogue's gallery of local artists, DJs, musicians, and performers from the Valley's hip-hop scene under one roof. For instance, artist-promoter Adam Dumper of The Blunt Club, who does design work for Coolin Out, will have a presence at the store, as will fellow hyphenates like DJ Mark "Ellery" Leach and Felix Fresh.
"Blunt Club's going to have a little corner, Kris the Fist and Matt-X are going to have a little section for their Master Class Modifications [a.k.a. custom turntables]. They're really blowing up with that stuff right now so we had to have them in the shop as well," Dimmick says. "And then Chuck's got all this crazy hip-hop memorabilia like Yo! MTV Raps cards and all sorts of weird shit. We'll have a little bit of vinyl in there too."
Dimmick adds that the shop will also carry clothing Coolin Out t-shirts (natch) and turntable slip mats. It's a little reminiscent of Style Rock, an East Valley hip-hop boutique that Huus ran back in the mid-'90s.
"We've got a lot of people in play at the shop. We all have our own strengths," Dimmick says. "To be a part of Coolin' Out, you've got to be more than just whatever your main thing is. Like Ellery, he can do DJ stuff but he can also do graphics and fliers. We've also partnered with Pickster One to do a shirt. We already got people calling in from all over the world for that one. It's crazy. Pickster's really been hitting it hard worldwide lately."
Naturally, there will be turntables set up inside the shop and Dimmick says these wheels of steel will see some use during DJ performances they're planning to hold at Coolin Out.
"We plan on having quite a few DJs coming through and during their thing," Dimmick says. "As much hip-hop things that Chuck and I have going on, we will also be bringing in hip-hop artists for in-store appearances. Just trying to create a little chill atmosphere."
That includes during tonight's grand opening when Tricky T, Ellery, and himself hit the one's and two's. Hip-hop ensemble The Gentleman Ether will also put in a set.
Here's the kicker: The DJing and rapping will take place on the small balcony of the second-floor condo above the shop, which all of Artisan Village's live/work storefronts along Roosevelt Row feature.
"They've got those little balconies over the storefronts [at Artisan Village] coming off the condos and its just big enough for a set of turntables so we're going to set things up right there upstairs," Dimmick says. "And with Gentleman Ether, its just a guitarist and Puma MC so they don't require much space. It's going to be dope."
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See Also: - Dumperfoo Quietly Galvanizes the Phoenix Hip-Hop Scene - Best Hip-Hop DJ - 2011: Pickster One - Mark "Ellery" Leach on Moombahton, Flosstradamus, Why His Sound is Different, and How His Hair Got Set on Fire at a Gig
Coolin Out's grand opening featuring The Gentleman Ether and DJs Fact 135, Ellery, and Tricky T takes place from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. tonight. Admission is free.