Miami is not known for its hip-hop clubs. Let's just start there. We have EDM and dance clubs coming out of our ears, but straight-up hip-hop clubs? We don't have a lot of those. Not anymore, at least.
While we certainly have some work to do if we want to catch up to places like Atlanta or Houston, there are venues out there giving temporary and permanent homes to hip-hop acts, both local and national.
Many of the clubs on this list have a diverse array of programming that extends well beyond hip-hop, but all of the clubs below offer a haven for fans and rappers alike.
10. Dream, 1532 Washington Ave., Miami; 305-674-8018.
Dream has been a loyal hub for hip-hop heads on South Beach for years. The venue, located on Washington Avenue, has held special events and club nights for all of Miami’s native veteran rap stars like Trina, Cool and Dre, Ball Greezy, and Ace Hood, as well as South Florida’s latest breakthrough artists Zoey Dollaz and Kodak Black. While our hometown heroes are known for invading Dream every week, other major players in the game like Sean “Diddy” Combs, French Montana, Tory Lanez, 50 Cent, Memphis Bleek, Juelz Santana, and plenty more have also popped bottles on the club's "Enticing Friday” nights. You can catch DJs like 99 JAMZ's (WEDR-FM) E Feezy, 103.5 THE BEAT’s (WMIB-FM) DJ Bulletproof, and more spinning the best in hip-hop every week.
9. Icon, 1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-680-9480; iconmiami.com.
Icon is known to host various types of nights inside the venue formerly known as Mansion. There's the classic big-room EDM, but you'll also find anything from Latin to top-40 in the club. But at the end of the workweek, eager patrons dying for some debauchery on South Beach can see some of the best names in hip-hop in the building. Icon Saturdays has featured legends from Memphis Bleek and N.O.R.E to the industry’s most trendy artists, like French Montana and Shy Glizzy. With an array of flamboyant lights, elegant interior décor, and sexy acrobatic dancers, weekends at Icon are a sure thing for newbies looking for a lit night in Miami Beach.
8. Cameo, 1445 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 314-642-4352.
Yes — somehow — Cameo is still chugging along. Miami’s finest rappers continue to keep the club alive and occasionally popping. Throughout 2016, Trina, Trick Daddy, Rick Ross, Zoey Dollaz, Ace Hood, and Fat Joe have all hosted exclusive events under Cameo’s roof. 103.5 THE BEAT’s DJ Epps and DJ Stevie J are pros at taking over the DJ booth while out-of-town acts like DJ Drama,
7. Brick, 187 NW 28th St., Miami; 786-467-1205.
Wynwood has been dry in recent weeks thanks to Zika, but that doesn’t negate Brick’s history in the neighborhood. Formerly known as Brick House (it had to change its name due to some legal issues), Brick hosts various themed nights like Latin, hip-hop, and more. The spacious venue holds special events with Miami’s most notable hip-hop DJs, including 99 JAMZ’s DJ Entice, DJ Affect, KC Chopz, and more. In recent weeks, the venue has hosted events featuring Miami’s legendary hip-hop and booty pioneers like 2 Live Crew and DJ Laz.
6. Rec Room, 1690 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-975-2555; recroomies.com.
Rec Room is slowly becoming well known for hosting the most dope acts in hip-hop inside its walls. The venue, located within the Gale Hotel in South Beach, has held events featuring Fabolous, Mannie Fresh, Talib Kweli, and the late great Phife Dawg. Management has been able to remain diverse by featuring 103.5 THE BEAT’s DJ Epps, DJ Fly Guy, and a slew of local DJs who spin their fair share of hip-hop.
5. Story, 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-479-4426; storymiami.com.
Before the Game's manager knocked out Stitches outside the club, Story was a favorite for local and national for rappers visiting South Beach. Started by LIV creators MMG (no, not Rick Ross' label), Story has given the most successful artists in the industry a high-end experience with premium bottle service, aerial dancers, and the perfect platform to lay down the biggest hits on the airwaves. Throughout summer '16, the lavish nightclub has hosted events with OT Genesis, Young Money president Mack Maine, Ne-Yo, Jim Jones, Bryson Tiller, and plenty more. While the bulk of the venue's programming consists of dance music, Story enlists the talents of DJ Stevie J, Fly Guy, and Don P to ensure that booming 808s and heavy bass ring through the club's assortment of high-tech speakers.
4. Sidebar, 337 SW Eighth St., Miami; 786-703-6973; sidebarmiami.com.
Don’t let its lowkey location fool you. Sidebar has become downtown’s exclusive site for major hip-hop parties, from club shows to special events for festivals like Art Basel. A slew of hip-hop’s fresh generation of MCs like A$AP Ferg, Kent Jones, Majid Jordan, Vic Mensa, and plenty more have taken over the stage to perform for fans inside and outside in Sidebar's spacious backyard. Between its popular events like Industry Karaoke Wednesdays, Cherry Pop Saturdays, and Sun Daze, the bar at the edge of Brickell on the final stretch of Southwest Eighth Street has even attracted the likes of legendary artists like Rakim. Hip-hop heads can enjoy the club any night of the week, but fellas, if you're trying to get in on a busy night, it'll help to have a lady or two on your arms.
3. Rockwell, 743 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-793-3882; rockwellmiami.com.
Rockwell Miami is known among every major rapper in the tri-state area and beyond. From Rick Ross to 50 Cent, the club with the most seductive bottle girls and go-go dancers in the city keeps the biggest names in hip-hop coming back for more. Exclusive guests like Toronto’s own P-Reign, DMX, Talib Kweli, Diddy, Wiz Khalifa, and more have all rolled through its doors. Even “White Iverson” rapper Post Malone recently celebrated his 21st birthday inside the VIP section.
2. E11even, 29 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-829-2911; 11miami.com.
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E11even, Miami’s newest 24/7 dance/burlesque/whatever-the-hell-else-you-want-to-call-it club, has become the pulse of downtown nightlife, and the hip-hop community has taken notice. After opening its doors for the first time back in January 2014, E11even, which was formerly the notorious nudie bar Gold Rush, has branched out of its box of EDM-based programming and hosted some of the most legendary parties around featuring the most notable names in the game. Since Drake kicked off NYE 2016 at the venue, artists like the Weeknd, Swizz Beatz, and even Jennifer Lopez have all experienced the unique talent of the club’s extravagant dancers and bartenders. Recently, the venue has hosted Travis Scott, Lil Wayne, DJ Khaled, DJ Irie, T-Pain, and more resulting memorable performances on the main stage.
1. King of Diamonds, 17800
Step into America's favorite strip club, a massive gentlemen's den where the famous (and infamous) party hard in MIA and make it rain on hundreds of lustrous, buxom babes. You know, Drake didn't say, "Call up King of Diamonds and tell Chyna it'd be worth flight," for nothing. Hip-hop bigwigs Lil Wayne, Ace Hood, Rick Ross, and 2 Chainz drop fat stacks as dancers do ceiling-to-floor pole drops, and then those same rap bosses return to cheer on thick chicks as they coldcock each other during Monday Night Fight Night. Welcome to KOD. This is the spot. Period.