Hip-hop was live before it was ever recorded. Like the saying goes, “The revolution will not be televised.” Of course, recordings have played a huge part of rap’s dominance, but as hip-hop shifted its narrative focus to album sales over the course of its rise to being the most popular genre of music in America, the importance of live shows remained paramount to both the genre and the culture.
Live shows are very much the lifeblood of any artist’s income, they’re the way we connect to our favorites outside of our headphones and stereo systems, they often help to indicate which rappers’ careers will become mainstays and which are a flash in the pan. Simply put, there’s nothing like the live experience. Even while technology was changing how the music was produced and consumed, a good live show is undeniable. The push and pull between the audience and the MC is the essence of the art form.
Of course, to catch your favorite rappers in the right environments, it helps to know which venues provide the best experience for hip-hop, which often requires unique conditions to flourish, as opposed to rock or pop. The best rap venues allow for the crowd and the rapper to feel each others’ energy and reciprocate it. Here are the best venues to catch rap shows in Los Angeles, CA. They not only fit the acoustic requirements for hip-hop, they know which artists to book, how regularly, and often lead to the most fun times with the least hassle. Check them out below.