Urban Assault – Hip-Hop and Rap music in Vancouver


As a prominent cosmopolitan landmark, Vancouver sees its fair share of world-class Rap and Hip-Hop talent playing at such mainstream venues as Richards on Richards, the Commodore Ballroom, the Pacific Coliseum, GM Place and even BC Place Stadium. But the rootsy, real Vancouver vibe can be found kickin’ it on some of the city’s less celebrated stages. Whether DJ’s MC’s or full live acts, this is the breeding-ground for local up-and-coming talent -- the stuff that started as freestyle in the kitchen of some East Side house party. It’s also where you’ll find some surprisingly high-profile out-of-towners breaking it down for some very appreciative audiences. While feature nights change from establishment to establishment, these are the hot-spots where you’ll always find beats to bounce to, Monday through Sunday. Here’s the word on the street...



1320 Richards Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 3G6 tel: (604) 662-7707

Atlantis Nightclub Vancouver Atlantis Nightclub - photo by Jhayne Holmes

Atlantis is unlike any other venue in Vancouver, boasting one-of-a-kind visual effects in an unforgettable ambience. The main floor features three bars, a beer tub and a massive dance-floor with a state-of-the-art DJ booth, lighting rig and sound system bringing you some of the best beats in town. For the high-rollers, a swanky VIP area is available by reservation and a fine list of beers, wines, champagnes and cognacs are always on hand. Aiming to chill out? The upstairs lounge with its leather couches and exotic plants and trees is the perfect place to enjoy a martini.

Au Bar

674 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC V5L tel: (604) 648-2227

AuBar Vancouver Au Bar in Vancouver - Photo by Jabello

A favourite with visiting partiers, Au Bar provides high-energy Dance and Hip-Hop in an elegant, polished Gotham-esque atmosphere. The intimate, meandering table layout and warm candlelit glow has attracted night-owls from across Canada and the US since it opened. Truly a place to be seen, this establishment, with its twenty-two foot high ceilings, has become a formidable presence on the Vancouver scene. Whether it’s one of the three separate and distinct club areas, the VIP lounge or the ample dance floor that catches your interest, an upscale outing here will be likely just the first of many… especially if you find yourself here on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night.

Bar None

1222 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 2S8 tel: (604) 689-7000

If there was a stylish centre to the tornado that is Vancouver’s nightlife, it would be Yaletown. And if there was ever an uber-cool Yaletown establishment that represented that the best, it would be Bar None. A reputation precedes it as the best New York-style nightclub this far west of the Hudson River. And Bar None has earned this status in the competitive heart of Vancouver’s restaurant and hotel district. For over a decade and a half, the interior brick and wood Soho-esque flavour of this acclaimed hot-spot has attracted an impressive parade of live and electronic talent. Recently re-invented and renovated, Bar None caters to the hip dinner crowd, the re-emerging cocktail culture and later, those discriminating individuals who know wicked music when they hear it.


66 Water Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 1A4 tel: (604) 683-6695

Fabric Vancouver Fabric Club in Vancouver - Photo by Fabio Venni

In the heart of historic Gastown, one of Vancouver’s legendary night-spots, Sonar, has re-emerged with a new look, under a new name: Fabric. This establishment, one of the cities largest rooms, plays host to some of the most prolific DJ talent the world has to offer with crowds of over five hundred busting out to the beat most nights of the week. For a more sweat-free evening, the upstairs Attic Room caters to groups of up to eighty people with a full-service bar, a DJ booth, lounge furniture and a VIP balcony overlooking the bouncing masses. Fabric is a Mecca for both promoters and club-goers alike.

Lotus Sound Lounge

455 Abbott Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 1A4 tel: (604) 685-7777

Quite possibly Vancouver’s hidden gem, Lotus is in one word… underground. A young, creative crowd populate this dark, dance-oriented Gastown temple to all things electronic. And since electronica is the main item on the menu, the discriminating music aficionado can discover top-notch off-the-radar offerings of Drum-and-Bass, Progressive, Tech-House or Break-Beat. Many of the country’s top cross-genre DJ talents have graced the dim halls of Lotus, but the club maintains a solid loyalty to its Tribal House roots. Acoustically-intelligent space and one of the best sound-systems in professional club sound-reinforcement make for a night not easily forgotten.

Plush Night Club

750 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver, BC, V6B 2S8 tel: (604) 669-8980

Plush Dancing at Plush - Photo by Dino Laurel

The Plaza of Nations, one of Expo ‘86’s greatest legacies, plays home to Plush --Vancouver’s monster nightclub. Newly renovate with two levels, three bars, dancing cages and the largest dance-floor in the city, this is the definition of a big night out. Adjacent to BC Place Stadium and GM Place, Plush is both a concert-calibre venue and an intimate lounge. While the fifteen-foot mirror ball has seen everything from top-shelf rap talent to high-profile DJ’s, most nights of the week provide something worth wading into the party for.

The Columbia Club

303 Columbia Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 1A4 tel: (604) 605-1076

One of the city’s oldest nightclubs, Columbia is another Gastown favourite. Recent renovations have put the establishment in pole-position for attracting the Vancouver club crowds. Seven days a week until the wee hours, you won’t find a more eclectic line-up of Rap, Hip-Hop, Top 40 and House, not to mention occasional rock and metal!

The Modern

7 Alexander Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1A4 tel: (604) 684-3044

Entrance of The Modern Entrance of The Modern - Photo by Roland Tanglao

Spearheading Gastown’s resurgence as the Bohemian, creative epicenter of Vancouver’s cityscape, The Modern makes top-shelf music a priority. Contrary to its name, the establishment makes its home in a heritage building with a decor of dark, smoked glass, countless mirrors and coloured tiles. Counter this with a state-of-the-art sound system and neon light accents, and you’ve got quite the venue. Only the city’s and country’s best-of-the-best ever get near the decks here, guaranteeing a superior club experience every time. And if that’s not enough, a custom drink menu by award-winning cocktailer, Jay Jones makes the libations as excellent as the music.


Vancouver’s rap and hip-hop scene kicks it with the best. Check out some of our top dogs...

  • A.M.P.
  • Birdapres
  • Brougham Camp
  • Caspian
  • Checkmate
  • City Planner
  • Curtis Santiago
  • Fourth World Occupants
  • Josh Martinez
  • Kaboom
  • Kia Kadiri
  • Kyprios
  • Lady Precise
  • Mocha Only
  • Motoe
  • Rascalz
  • Sweatshop Union
  • Swollen Members

2 Responses to “Urban Assault – Hip-Hop and Rap music in Vancouver”

  1. Hip-Hop and Rap music in Vancouver

    […] through Sunday. In the latest chapter of our Vancouver music guide, we’ll take a closer look at the Vancouver Hip-Hop and Rap […]

  2. Dank Stevens

    Dig the site, peep my shit

    Hot off of new album, “The Formula” and a B.C Interior Music Award Nomination for Best Urban/Dance Recording of the Year, Vernon’s own Hip Hop sensation Dank Stevens will be rocking B.C this winter with his signature wall banging live show!

    DANK STEVENS BIO link to reverbnation.com

    With the natural ability to express experiences through graphic lyrical tales, Dank Stevens combines honesty and reality with a controversial persona. After years of releasing singles through his own independent imprint, T. Prince Music, he has built a large, steadily growing fan base. Rising up from the bottom to share the stage with Hip Hop superstars The Game, Sean Kingston, Kardinal Offishal, Swollen Members and Too $hort, his most recent work on new album The Formula earned a 2009 BCIMA Nomination for Best Urban/Dance Recording Of The Year. T. Prince Music has also unvailed plans for it’s next project M.A.F.I.A MOVEMENT, with a debut album set for early 2010. Raw, edgy and undeniable, the Dank Stevens buzz is gaining international momentum, prepare to usher in the next era of Hip Hop…

    Live Performance Resume (Selected Highlights)

    Sep. 12 2002 – “Get Skooled” Hip Hop Night, Jakes Crossing, Port Moody B.C
    Feb. 19 2003 – Purple Onion, Vancouver B.C
    Jun. 14 2003 – Flying Beaver Bar & Grill w/ Black Fin, Richmond B.C
    Nov. 10 2004 – Flying Beaver Bar & Grill w/ Dj DUB J, Richmond B.C
    2003 – 2005 – “Host MC” Weekly Hip Hop Night, Flying Beaver Bar & Grill, Richmond, B.C
    Dec. 18 2004 – “West Is One” Dank Stevens, Noble, Phixx Cravin, Vernon Perfroming Arts Center, Vernon B.C
    Jan. 29 2005 – Too Short feat. Dank Stevens, Wesbild Center, Vernon B.C
    Apr. 14 2005 – The Game feat. Dank Stevens, 7th Generation, HellBound, The Bluff, Kelowna B.C
    Jul. 1 2005 – Kelowna Summer Jam, Kardinal Offishal, Montel Jordan, Dank Stevens, The Bluff, Kelowna B.C
    Aug. 8 2006 – Cold Driven & Dank Stevens, Monashees Bar & Grill, Vernon B.C
    Dec. 23 2007 – “Return Of The King” Dank Stevens, Immaculate, DJ Coletrain, High Balls Billiard Lounge, Vernon B.C
    Mar. 22 2008 – “The Playaz Ball”, Elks Hall, Vernon B.C
    Jun. 5 2008 – “Dank Stevens Invades Hip Hop Night”, The Grateful Fed, Kelowna B.C
    Jun. 19 2008 – Sean Kingston feat. Dank Stevens & Phixx Cravin, Cheers Nightclub, Surrey B.C
    Jul. 5 2008 – Okangan Music Festival, Hip Hop Headliner, Rotary Center for the Arts, Kelowna B.C
    Apr. 11 2009 – Kevin Rudolph After Partry, Swollen Members & Dank Stevens, The Habitat, Kelowna B.C
    Apr. 12 2009 – Swollen Members & Dank Stevens, Boomers NightClub, Vernon, B.C
    Sep. 24 2009 – Rockanagan 2009, Moka Only, Just B & Dank Stevens, Boomers, NightClub, Vernon B.C
    Nov.14 2009 – 5th Annual Miracles…Start With You Charity Concert, Boomers NightClub, Vernon B.C


    REVERB NATION/HEVY D MUSIC link to ReverbNation.com
    FACEBOOK FAN PAGE link to facebook.com

    YOUNG GUAGE ONLINE link to ReverbNation.com


    Rory MacLeod

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