Friday, August 29, 2014

Hip Hop Karaoke, 21st August

Oh my word, I had such a fun time at Hip Hop Karaoke at the Social!

It is what it sounds like. Karaoke, but all the song choices are rap songs. All of them. They've got loads to choose from, and if they don't have your jam, you can request it in advance. They have crowdpleasers like Jump Around and Baby Got Back to Biggie and 2Pac and they're all online with difficulty ratings so you can get an idea for what you want to do (and practise!) before you go if you want. 

The MC is pretty fly for a white guy – he’s a mix of hip hop/ironic nerd and drops the MF bomb like it’s going out of style. He doesn’t partake of the karaoke himself, but is there to make the evening even more entertaining and ensure that everyone gets at least one cheer during their set, even if they’re failing miserably.

For that’s one of the great things about it. Yeah, there are definitely people who go every week, who don’t even need the words and who are mini rapper superstars in the making. But there were also plenty of people who’d never been before, and plenty of people who were just rubbish.

It’s actually trickier than normal karaoke, even with the easiest songs because all you have is a piece of paper with the words on it and then the DJ drops the background track. It’s up to you to figure out when to come in, and if you lose your place it can be pretty hard to catch yourself up again. But the crowd is really supportive, and most of them will know all the words better than you do if you’re not feeling that confident so can kind of keep it going until you get back into it. Having said that, there were at least two performers that just couldn’t even get through half of it, and a couple more that did finish, but I don’t think you could call what they were doing throughout the song ‘rapping’.

But that makes it funny and that’s why it’s so popular. It is on every week and every week it reaches capacity. We got there at 7 and already most of the good tables had gone. By 9 there was a queue outside and some of my friends couldn’t even get in. If you are thinking about doing a song – sign up early. The karaoke doesn’t start until 9 which gives you plenty of time to drink enough to muster up some courage. But if you wait until you’ve got enough alcohol in your system to sign up, you’ll find that they’ll run out of time before they get to you. Sign up early, and then just trust that you’ll be pissed enough to get on stage. I think I signed up to do my song at about 7:30 and I didn’t get to do it until just after the interval at gone 10pm!


So, they have one interval, and before and after they play top notch RnB and hip hop tunes. If you like nights like Supa Dupa Fly or Juicy, but maybe crave a bit more interaction with your dancing, then this night is for you. Hell, if you love this kind of music this night is for you. Or if you just like watching people make fools of themselves in a friendly place, this is for you. Loved it! One of the best weeknight activities out there.

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I work as an editor in educational publishing by day, and then spend most of my spare time discovering interesting things to do in London, and taking people there with my own Meetup.