The club’s current roster was born from a single summer of 2007, when L.A.’s burgeoning hip-hop culture began its annual summerlong dance. In that month alone, the scene created a handful of music staples: the first-ever New York City rap summer festival “Rapper’s Delight,” an exclusive club called “The End” on West 15th, and a summerlong music video called “Hip-Hop Summer” with Snoop Dogg.
But the first club that has given rap its name, can be found in the heart of what is now the United States, not far from the nation’s capital on K Street.
L.A.’s club in the heart of West L.A. was at the center of the first rap music phenomenon. (Photo courtesy of www.kdvd.net):
In 2003, a man named Rick Ross set up his own club on Sunset and 16th, a block from the Capitol Records building on Van Ness in West L.A.? It was called the South Coast Lounge, and while the name was popularized with local rappers like Cee Lo Green and J. Cole, Ross and his partner, Joey Bada$$, began renting it to local artists and hip-hop fans. By 2008, though, the South Coast Lounge was becoming less of a club, and a lot less hip-hop, more like a club for porn stars and rappers.
When the club finally closed for the season on October 30, 2010, it was the latest chapter in the saga of a club that, according to its Wikipedia entry, “had the distinction of being the first nightclub in the United States to open in the fall” while simultaneously being the first nightclub in the country to “be recognized as a hip-hop venue.”
But like many clubs before it, the South Coast Lounge had its roots in Los Angeles. An area known for its hardcore clubs and hardcore hip-hop, the South-Central District was originally called Cesar Chavez Avenue in the 1960s, but was named for the late L.A. Mayor Cesar Chavez, who championed the community and opposed segregation. A few blocks on, just a few years later, another club opened in the area called Sunset Beach.
And just like the South Coast Lounge, Sunset Beach was another victim of the recession.
“Things went downhill for Sunset Beach in 2009,” said Michael, who is in his early 50s and didn’t want us to use his
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