Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Uptown's Lounge

They don't make nightclubs in Richmond like this one anymore, it lasted long enough to become a legend. Nightspots in the city now suffer short lifespans, shutting down and opening up within a few months. Most eventually fail, leaving empty husks that drag down the city's landscape.

Ivory's Uptown Lounge was the place to be in the late 1980s. I recall riding four deep in a Chevette with my high school friends, looking at the line of beautiful people that stretched down the block, counting the years until we could stand among them. Hell, Prince ate breakfast their once.

Once I started getting into Ivory's, I wasn't there for fun. It was always business. In the early '90's the club started to book rap artists for concerts and its dark basement became a second studio for our show. We talked to groups like The Pharcyde, Wu-Tang Clan, MC Lyte, Pete Rock and many more. About half of our trips to the club were fruitless, with lazy artists and their duplicitious road managers leaving us hanging at the last moment. (They'll get their own post.)

My best time at Ivory's was on a Wednesday evening, right after the show. We walked in the club to interview a slew of rappers set to perform that night. After a few minutes, I noticed something strange, they all acted like the knew me. I was really thrown off by the sudden recognition and I kept thinking it was an elaborate joke. Somebody told me later that they had been watching our show during sound check and enjoyed it.

This confirmed what Dre and I already knew. We were doing something right.

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