In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it underground bar on Little Portland Street, is a legendary Hip Hop Karaoke night – the only way to spend your Thursday evenings. The local office boys and girls rush to get the drinks in straight after clocking out and, with free entry for all, the night gets buzzing pretty early on.
The first rule of Hip Hop Karaoke is that you’ll need to pick a song on a first-come, first-serve basis, as there’s usually a small crowd of eager show-stoppers signing themselves up. The second rule of Hip Hop Karaoke is that no booing or heckling is allowed, which is a relief if you momentarily lose track on the lyric sheet. The third rule is to let your rap fantasies run wild! Performances by the girls to Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “Hey Dirty” and Ludacris’s “Move Bitch” have been encored with massive props, so you don’t need to stick with Missy Elliot or Nicki Minaj if you don’t want to!
The friendly crowd doesn’t just stand around either as everyone is up for getting down to old school hip-hop and RnB. The host, Bobby Champagne Jnr, is a sight to behold in his silky gold bomber jacket, but he’s not just there for decoration! He keeps the crowd all in check and make sure they show nothing but love. Performers receive a free beer, standing ovation and a ground stomping that could cause a small earthquake and, if you’re really lucky, a rewind to do-over the best bits.
Hip-Hop Karaoke takes place every Thursday at The Social. For more info, visit the Hip Hop Karaoke Facebook group. (Words: Lamiat Sabin)
(A special thanks to www.benrowephotography.com for the pictures!)
Here’s Hip Hop Karaoke in action: