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News The Pivotal Place in Hip Hop History of the Latin Quarter
The Pivotal Place in Hip Hop History of the Latin Quarter PDF Print E-mail
Written by Davey D ID3107   
Sunday, 05 November 2006 01:07

The Story Behind Hip Hop’s Greatest Night Club the Latin Quarter By Davey D

The Latin Quarter or the ‘LQ’ as it was affectionately called will always have a pivotal place in Hip Hop history. According to DJ Paradise of X-Clan who managed the club during it’s hey day in the mid 80s, the LQ was more important than the Apollo because all the record executives, industry tastemakers and label reps frequented the club.

It wasn’t unheard of for an artist to go down to the LQ on a Friday, kick off a great performance and have a record deal by that Monday.

The LQ was also the place that bore witness to many people’s first performances including MC Hammer who’s chilly reception inspired him to go back, blow up and come back to take on NY in the song ‘Turn this Mutha Out’.

It bore witness to one of Public Enemy’s first performances where Mele-Mel rattled Chuck D’s nerves by screaming from the floor’ get them off the stage, they aren’t Hip Hop. A year later Mel became one of their biggest supporters.

The LQ bore witness to a young MC Serch who made name for himself, by dancing up a storm on the LQ’s stage. It is here that he meant is partner Pete Nice which led to the forming of 3rd Bass. It was also the place where the members of Paradise’s group X-Clan met.

Located in NY’s Times Square which many say is the center of the world, the Latin Quarter was definitely the epicenter for Hip Hop. It was the gathering place for Hip Hop’s pioneers like Mele-Mel, Grand Master Caz and Afrika Bambaataa as well as for Hip Hop’s then emerging new school like Big Daddy Kane, Run DMC, Queen Latifah, Stetsasonic Jungle Brothers, Eric B and Rakim, MC Serch and KRS-One to name a few.

The Latin Quarter and its unique, diverse mixture of old and new school bore witness to many a legendary battles including Mele-Mel squaring off against KRS-One in what was immortalized in the song ‘Still Number One’. It was home to stalwart deejays like Red Alert, The Awesome Two and Chuck Chillout whose music selections helped make the careers of more than a few artists.

It was also home to some of New York’s most notorious ‘stick up kids’, ballers, hustlers and crime figures like the original 50 Cent and his infamous Brooklyn Zoo and the Hollis Crew who once upon a time decided to square off in a legendary brawl that lasted over two hours after someone attempted to snatch Jam Master Jay’s gold chain.

Paradise is quick to remind us that the LQ while being the epicenter for Hip Hop and B-boyish, it was also home to the bling bling and flossy side of Hip Hop and urban life in general. He also pointed out that in this same flossed out environment the LQ gave birth to what many consider Hip Hop’s Golden Age. In fact it was at the LQ that a secret meeting was called by Afrika Bambaataa with many of the days biggest artists where all of them pledged to stop wearing gold chains and to adopt African Leather Medallions.

In our interview with Paradise we cover a lot of ground and get all the inside scoop on what went down at the Latin Quarter. He gives us insight into some of the key battles. He breaks down the players who came through and helped make it a landmark treasure. He talks about the changing of the guard from old school to new school. More importantly Paradise lays down all the reasons why the LQ was Hip Hop’s greatest nightclub. 


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We continue our conversation with DJ Paradise about the rise and fall of the Latin Quarter nightclub. Here we focus on the battle between KRS and Mele-Mel. We also talk about the LQ’s long history and how the Golden Era of rap got ushered in via the club.


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Visit Davey D at http://www.daveyd.com/


And visit Paradise Gray at Http://www.myspace.com/paradisegray



News The Pivotal Place in Hip Hop History of the Latin Quarter

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