Houston's Top 10 Hip-Hop Clubs

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As our sister blog Eating...Our Words does, from time to time Rocks Off will be giving your our picks for the top taverns in various Houston-area neighborhoods. Of course, the lines can be porous, but here anything with a TABC license that cannot reasonably be considered either a restaurant, coffeehouse or live-music venue is fair game.

10. VENUE HOUSTON Venue is the kind of hip-hop bar our city needs to hold on to; there are pretty folks parading around in the fancy-schmancy digs, a discerning door guy, and bottle service. It's everything a bar that blares hip-hop in the middle of downtown needs, really. The DJ tends to pull from '90s and early-'00s hip-hop, which is an added bonus because, well, Ma$e.

719 Main, 713-236-8150, clubvenue.com

9. 5TH AMENDMENT If you're heading for 5th Amendment, you better like hip-hop, and you better be prepared to dance. You better like making friends too, because this little venue gets packed in a big, big way. The DJs tend to spin more current tunes, but every once in a while they'll throw in some random old-school stuff for good measure. So strap on your dancin' shoes and head on in. Even if you're hesitant, the go-go dancers will lure you in like furry-booted rap sirens.

2900 Travis, 832-474-3394

8. VIDA LOUNGE If you were over age 21 in the '90s, or lucky enough to snag a decent faux ID, chances are you remember when the Richmond strip was the place to be. Now if you're a hip-hop fan, Richmond is back in the game thanks to Vida Lounge. Its list of events boasts an impressive list of big names who hang out at the lounge. Antwon Blake, Patrick Beverly, and Big K.R.I.T. have all hosted events there in the past few months -- K.R.I.T. alone should hint at Vida's legitimacy, no?

5959 Richmond, 832-969-1268, facebook.com/vidalounge

List continues on the next page.

7. FACES ULTRA LOUNGE This super-chill lounge in the Museum District has a great crowd and some irresistible events. That would be enough to lure us in on its own, but when you factor in the fact that it play some of the city's best hip-hop, it ups our interest a peg or two. If you haven't stopped in, you're definitely missing out. Trust us.

5104 Almeda, 713-522-3223, facebook.com/facesultralounge

6. CLUB RIDDIMS Club Riddims has been around for more than 15 years and is still Houston's only Caribbean club, but it's a hip-hop haven too. With a number of DJs on staff who make sure to pour in a healthy dose of rap alongside those reggae and soca jams, Club Riddims one of the best places in the city for hip-hop fans. With its eclectic music mix, there's no chance you'll overdose on Drake here, which is always a good thing.

8220 W. Bellfort, 713-779-0033, clubriddims.com

5. ZANZIBAR This Galleria-area club is a grownup's hip-hop paradise: a swanky lounge full of the pretty people, all of whom are swaying to some fantastic jams and sippin' on fancy cocktails. It's ripe with bar events like "Moet Classic Saturdays," where ladies drink Moet free 'til midnight. Not too shabby at all.

9003 Westheimer, 832-767-0040, zanzibarhouston.com

List continues on the next page.

4. GROOVES Grooves is damn near legendary to the Houston hip-hop scene. This Third Ward bar near downtown is home to some of the best music around and a pretty diverse crowd of younguns and older folks alike. Sure, jazz bands shake things up during the early hours, but once that clock strikes 10 p.m., Grooves becomes a hip-hop Cinderella and throws on its party gown -- with the help of some very talented DJs, of course.

2300 Pierce, 713-759-9700, houstongrooves.com

3. LUCIE'S LIQUORS Oh, Lucie's. This Bayou Place bar always make sure to incorporate a good mix of old-school and new hip-hop, so it's always exactly the right song to dance to. That's a good thing, considering the pole set up near the DJ booth to capture your skillz on tape. Be careful, though: Lucie's DJs are known to throw your antics up on the TV screens for the whole club to view, so if you let "Montell Jordan" lure you into a pole dance, you better have the fireman move down pat.

534 Texas, 713-836-2276, luciesliquors.com

2. SUGARHILL LOUNGE Biz Markie has hosted a thing or two at this Southmore hip-hop hotspot, so that should tell you a little somethin'-somethin'. With some fantastic DJs who know just the right music to throw on, and some pretty sweet happy-hour specials, and somehow never feels pretentious, Sugarhill is just about the perfect spot to shake your tail feather.

2533 Southmore, sugarhilllounge.com

List continues on the next page.

1. THE ORIGINAL RED ROOSTER With a motto like "Pack the Rooster til the Rooster Starts Crowing" and a list of fans like the late Pimp C (R.I.P.), Bun B and Regina Bell, it would be hard to place the Original Red Rooster anywhere but in the top spot on this list. But even with those factors, Red Rooster piques our interest even more with their nightly events. From the buffet and live entertainment on Wednesdays to the "Grown and Sexy Sundays," this bar has somethin' going on every night they're open.

4937 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 713-847-7757, originalredrooster.com


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