*sigh* since nobody is going to do this, I will… hold your breath.
ROQ RIFFS!! .. Are.. Yall.. GOOD?? How is your day?? Back with another installment of The iLL Venue. You know, the segment where you learn about all those dope spots across the nation?? The tool for those in need of massively overhauling their social nightlife game. This one comes with a bit of a somber undertone. Unfortunately, we here… ah who the hell am I kidding, I literally operate this site on my own.. possibly because I’m a hermit loner >_< .. I, HERE.. was a little late in expressing gratitude for a particular spot which the burgeoning Phoenix HipHop scene has come to hold near and dear, because of it’s recent closure no more than 48 hours ago. For some, that “near and dear” may actually be interpreted in a literal sense. For others, “near and deer” may mean roadkill.. but that’s on them.. and we’ll .. I’LL discuss that nonense later on. Alas, though… and someone give me a ribbon for using “alas” in a non forced way — here is the dirty, grimey, gritty, raw, and quite possibly quintessential indiependent , underground hiphop spot of the City of Phoenix (with the good folks in Tempe hosting The Blunt Club) — drum roll please..
The Hidden House !!
Seriously, what is there not to say about this spot, when it comes to what “The Hidden” has done for this growing scene in the last decade or so of operation as a hiphop venue?? Throughout it’s many iterations, weeklies, monthlies, special events, it has been one thing to Phoenix’s HipHop scene: home. It was the vocal point for the multiple interconnected social circles which made up a good portion of the scene in Maricopa County. I remember seeing Novelty rock there. My now friend and Writers Guild member Mr Miranda first “met” when Nov tried to set us up to “battle” in a cipher circle in the parking lot. It’s where Rhyme and Reason did their events. Coolin’ Out had several dope shows. Avenue of the Arts Crew helmed the stage. The Shop held it down there on Saturdays. Real Radio and their incredible lineup of DJs called that spot home, as well. Speaking of Writers Guild, we were frequent performers at the venue. Often using Hidden as testing grounds for our new material we’d come to release to the globe and perform on the road.
Plenty of Phx favorites who are representing the scene a lot of you readers claim home, got their traction from places like Hidden.
Hell, the show series which I host, HipHop House, helped carry the torch in terms of introducing the younger generation of artists, as well as out of state acts, to the Phoenix HipHop scene via The Hidden House.
We all have Al Page to thank for that, for being a gracious host. Over the course of my tenure here, he has done a lot to give nearly anyone a shot at creating their own event, with virtually no interruption or micromanaging — just do you. I haven’t seen too much appreciation being thrown his way , following it’s closure. Takes a lot of faith to fall back and let folks do as they may and not worry about the bar catching on fire or someone getting ran over in the parking lot LOL. Salute to you, Al, if you are reading this.
Seriously, I can’t express how central it was to Phoenix’s HipHop scene. Whether you planned to stop there during your Friday night routine, or ended up sliding by after chilling in Tempe for the majority of the night, you just always seemed to “wind up” there… only to end up rolling through there the following night because someone else has a show and we’ve had this inherent obligation to support one another out here, within the past couple years. If you’re a performing artist based out of the city, you’ve performed there ad nauseam. There was a point where I SWORE OFF going to the Hidden House for at least six months, AT LEAST, I had been there so much.
— And that’s probably why a few people in Phoenix aren’t too moved by the closure of the venue. We , as humans, are conditioned to take things we’re overly exposed to for granted. What we have here, with it’s unexpected closure, is a huge hole in the Phoenix scene — leaving the HipHop House, The Shop, Jam Odyssey (who just recently lost their Tempe home of Long Wongs) series displaced until further arrangements can be made.
Hidden has become infamous amongst a select few due to their own personal issues with a staff member… or because they were banned for being a dick and tagging on the wall. The overwhelming majority of heads in the underground scene out here in Phoenix appreciate it’s importance.. so this is for yall who care about it’s impact on us as a whole more than a less than satisfactory experience you may have had with a bartender (boo hoo, smh).
Thank you to the Hidden House for providing another outlet for indie hiphop out here in Phoenix, for those who couldnt make it to Tempe for whatever which reason. From the chipped painting on the wall, to the corroded sign, to the weird ass “rose guy” who’d try and force you to buy a rose for the lady who just walked past you, often accidentally verbally sexually harassing her in attempt to compliment her into accepting a rose, because he’s drunk. The tamale lady, too. I don’t think anyone bought a single damn tamale in the 2 years I’ve seen her, btw. LOL. The weird patrons on the “bar side” of the venue..
We’ll miss all of that. What we had was something that was the visual aesthetic for “underground hiphop”. And for that reason, it will be missed.
So , salute to you , The Hidden House .. and thank you Al Page! The reasons why it closed down do not matter, at this point. A battle is lost but the war to give underground hiphop traction is still in our balance.
Alright yall. Out for the time being. Comment below!! Stay safe , RoQ Riffs!! “The Culture Is Back!!!”
– RoQy TyRaiD