Who likes to live in a club and listen to hip hop and make money?
These are questions we hear often and it turns out that many people do. But in the early days in New York, people didn’t really have that much money to spend.
So if you want to party, drink and dance, you had to find a club that did it.
“A lot of people were looking for a community,” said James, 30, who used to travel back and forth from Florida to Brooklyn with friends who played bass in different clubs.
James said he first heard about the club during a trip to Miami. “I went to see it and it was amazing at the time. I thought, ‘Wow, this is such a cool club, I want to hang in there.’ I got in and it was a little weird initially,” he said. “The owner got pretty mad that we were hanging in there and started calling us names, but it was cool, we felt comfortable there. You don’t have to be the best bass player to hang in there.”
That feeling stuck with Richard, a 28-year-old musician living in Brooklyn. “I remember going for my second check at this club and someone said, ‘You’re the new guy, come find out what a lot of people don’t know about you, you are a party animal.’ Then I remember this person coming up to me and saying something to the effect of, ‘That’s a good start,’ and you realize how big of a role that a positive environment can have on a person,” he recalled.
“It gives you a sense of belonging and a culture, something you’re not sure you have in your life,” he continued. “It allows people to feel like they have some kind of influence and that you are not just listening to your music in the club.”
The club is now owned by New York University’s Tisch Graduate School of Music, which now promotes the club as a hub for music and dance.
The university also recently partnered with an East Village bar to build a permanent venue nearby that will double as a music hall.
“The East Side is pretty progressive, with a mix of hip hop, jazz, soul and house music,” said Sarah Coyle, executive director of the Tisch Graduate School, which is helping to build the East Village Music Hall. “It’s getting there. … The culture in there is so unique. It’s really important to make sure it
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