Getting booked to play hip-hop in Dallas clubs hasn't always been easy. But times have changed and the number of venues regularly booking hip-hop has grown throughout DFW. These 10 venues stand out as the best of the bunch.
10. 1912 Club
Despite its reputation as a punk venue, 1912 Club on Hemphill in Fort Worth is the ideal place to see above-average hip-hop in its rawest and most intimate forms. The watering hole for the Southside's underground music scene holds hip-hop nights at least a couple of times a month, usually on Fridays, thanks to the work of Cowtown-based emcee B-NO. The rapper holds it down for lesser known local artists such as Tornup, Coyote, D-Mar and others who are just starting to make a name for themselves and build their street cred. Pablo Arauz
One local Denton venue that has begun to host more hip-hop shows is Denton’s iconic Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios. One of the most versatile clubs in Denton, Gloves programs hip-hop shows more regularly than just during downtown festival times. The club brought in Busdriver last month and will host Astronautalis later this month, two completely different types of rapper who have played Hailey’s Club in the past. It's well worth the visit, especially if you haven’t been in awhile. Sara Button
Wednesdays at the Prophet Bar have been the linchpin of Dallas hip-hop for nearly a decade, in a city where a lack of venues threatened to scrub the music out of the city. House band RC & the Gritz churn out a savory blend of grooves and harmonies punctuated by stuttering, knocking mixes of DJ Jay Clipp that slap around the bar. Bandleader RC Williams is a card-carrying member of the Cannabinoids, Erykah Badu’s outré soul collective, and not shy about pulling off cameos from Badu, Bun B and '90s favorite Stokley Williams of Mint Condition. Caleb Wossen
Resurrected in the spirit of Beamers, this newly renovated space on Dallas’ northwest industrial side is one of the newest venues on this list. Park Avenue is also the only nightclub, and it's quickly established itself as the marquee destination for people in Dallas to see hip-hop artists in an upscale, club environment. In just the last year it’s hosted performances by Future, 2 Chainz, Jeezy and more. It’s common to see local professional athletes like Dez Bryant in the club as well. Mikel Galicia
With Hailey’s having closed its doors at the beginning of this year, other venues have absorbed some of the local hip-hop programming. Andy’s Bar is one of them. Typically the programming at Andy’s is a hit or a hard, hard miss, but as of late the hip-hop and rap shows have found a home on the stage at Andy’s. Although the majority of the music booked during any given week is usually harder rock and “other,” the local festivals seem to consistently book hip-hop during their respective times. Andy’s is a great venue for hip-hop, especially being right on the square in downtown Denton. SB
Since its grand opening in the fall of 2014, this 38,000-square-foot music venue has been drawing massive crowds for its hip-hop concerts. Recent standout shows include local star Dorrough, Travis Scott, Lupe Fiasco, Chief Keef and Waka Flocka. If it were any bigger it’d be a rival to The Bomb Factory, but this venue on the northwest industrial side of Dallas has quickly made a splash among hip-hop lovers in the area. MG
If this list had been made a couple months ago, this slot could've easily gone to Lower Greenville bar Crown & Harp. But a lot has changed in that time, and it's primarily down to the move of talent buyer Moody Fuqua, who left Crown & Harp and took a lot of his programming with him to RBC — in particular, the hip-hop. Already RBC has established itself as perhaps the go-to hip-hop venue in Deep Ellum, having celebrated its grand opening with a blowout headlined by Bobby Sessions, while this weekend Sam Lao celebrated her new album release there. Jeff Gage
The Green Elephant is tucked away just a little east of the epicenter of SMU’s bar scene and a little too far north of the bars on Lower Greenville. Nonetheless, this diminutive venue is a proven home to loads of hip-hop events, both local and national. Local promotion companies like Too Fresh Productions and Top Shelf Shows have played host to events at the space. This is where Dallas’ brightest local talent cut their teeth in a live setting. Some of hip-hop’s underground stars, such as Pouya, have played their first tours in the space. MG
In the span of 12 months, The Bomb Factory has staked a pretty strong claim to being the best live music venue in North Texas — and without a doubt it's the best club venue. As for hip-hop, well, it's hard to argue with the star power that they've brought in, including Rick Ross, Future, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, the return of the D.O.C. and, just last weekend, Erykah Badu's third appearance. Give it another 12 months and there's no telling what kind of scalps The Bomb Factory will have added to the collection. JG
Trees tops this list for the simple reason that it strikes such a perfect balance between top-notch touring hip-hop and a healthy schedule of local talent. Some of the shows that previously would've gone to Trees like Bone Thugs or Run the Jewels might be more prone to show up at the glitzier Bomb Factory these days, but Trees hasn't slowed down in booking shows like Bobby Sessions' album release party or Post Malone's sold-out hometown stand last summer. Trees has been championing hip-hop in Dallas for a while now and they deserve the respect for it. JG
2709 Elm St., Dallas, treesdallas.com
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