And it don’t stop: Hip-hop venues in Calgary

Whether it’s live performances or rap and hip-hop culture you’re after, Calgary’s got a lot to offer hip-hop heads. Many clubs in the city host weekly hip-hop music nights as well as regular events such as Hip Hop Karaoke and the monthly 10 at 10 local hip-hop showcase. The beat is alive and well at these Calgary venues.

Commonwealth Bar & Stage

1
731 10 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0B3

This bi-level, warehouse-style nightclub brings some of the best hip-hop shows to Calgary. Past performers include Action Bronson, Talib Kweli, Souls of Mischief and more. Once a month, Hip Hop Karaoke gives closet rappers and Tupac-wannabes their five minutes of fame with a night of rap and hip-hop sing-along. The first Wednesday of each month features the 10 at 10 showcase for up-and-coming singers, rappers, producers, DJs and poets. The event is hosted by Calgary hip-hop heavyweight Beni Johnson with Ryan Serquina.

Hi Fi Club

2
219 10 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0A4

Known for bringing artists to Calgary before they achieve mainstream success, Hifi Club has become a fixture in introducing new and rising hip-hop artists. Over the years, the club has hosted popular Cleveland rapper KiD CuDi, hip-hop legend Grandmaster Flash and more. Recent performers include DJ Maseo, Tory Lanez and Skratch Bastid. On Friday nights, rap event Set If Off is hosted by Beni Johnson, with music provided by DJ Pump, DJ C-Sik and Ivan Rankic.

Dickens Pub

3
1000 9 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 2Y6

This unassuming basement-level bar in downtown’s west end is well known for its involvement in Calgary’s punk and hardcore music scenes. But Dickens has also played host to many rappers and hip-hop artists. The bar has seen Canadian acts like Vancouver’s Swollen Members as well as British Columbia Stompdown artists Snak The Ripper, Evil Ebenezer and Merkules. Dickens also presents old-school American rap legends such as The Onyx, Redman, M.O.P. and others.

Back Alley Nightclub

4
4630 Macleod Trail Sw, Calgary, AB T2G 5E8

Marquee Beer Market & Stage recently took over the location of the now defunct Back Alley Nightclub. Since its inception, Marquee has brought several big hip-hop artists to Calgary including Rich Homie Quan, The L.O.X., Fat Joe and more.

Broken City Social Club

5
613 11 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0E1

Broken City on Eleventh Avenue Southwest is central to Calgary’s growing music scene. In addition to presenting weekly live indie band performances, Broken City also features Natural Selection Hip Hop Night, which celebrates the golden era of hip hop. Calgary DJs Brofanity, Typist and Kline play hip-hop classics from the ’80s and ’90s.

BMO Centre

6
20 Roundup Way SE, Calgary, AB T2G 2W1

The biggest convention centre in Calgary, BMO Centre in Stampede Park is one of the largest music venues in the city. While most performance spaces only cater to the 18-plus crowd, BMO Centre frequently hosts gigs for hip-hop fans of all ages. Past guests have included J. Cole and Rick Ross.

Shaw Millennium Park

7
1220 9 Avenue SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0T1

This skatepark pulls double duty as an outdoor music performance venue in summer. Annual events include One Love Music Festival, Western Canada’s largest hip-hop music festival. Performers for the September 2015 edition include headliners Nas and J. Cole backed by Machine Gun Kelly; Wu-Tang clan member, Raekwon; Kanye West protégé Travi$ Scott; and Maybach Music Group signee, Wale. Local performers included Evrlove Blake and The Humble Giants trio.

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