Green Room's Brown Bag Wednesdays Kicks Off with Talib Kweli

Green Room has quickly established itself as the indie/artsy (dare we say hipster?) spot to go to on any given night of the week. But, on Wednesday night, the venue kicked it up a notch with the debut of Brown Bag Wednesdays, a weekly hip hop party. And to say it went off with a bang is an understatement.

The narrow hallway lined with mirrors was packed with street wear, the scent of Black & Milds, and a screen printing set up towards the back. Inside the two story club, there was barely enough room to stand, let alone to get a drink. But, hey who is complaining? Wall to wall, groups of guys and a few ladies sprinkled throughout, were either immersed in conversations, singing lyrics to one another, or sipping on 32oz glass bottles of Colt 45. Yes, Colt 45.

On the floor, surrounded by an overcrowded dance floor, DJ Immortal churned out all the hits. From Jay-Z to Outkast and the always pleasing Ol' Dirty Bastard, the hyped up room ate up every moment of it -- completely un-ironically. As the hours passed and the crowd's anticipation rose, you'd think the room would begin to lose interest and disperse. Not in this case. Out of nowhere, a full on dance off broke out in the center of the lower level dance floor. It was like being in a real life version of the movie Step Up -- sadly Channing Tatum was nowhere to be seen.

Much to my surprise (and delight) it was only 12:30am when Talib Kweli managed to find

his way onto the stage. Dressed in an orange tee and a leather vest --

very reminiscent of the Eddie Murphy Raw years -- he grabs the mic to

greet the crowd.

"I came here to spin some records" said the hyped up MC.

"Fuck that!" yells a voice from the crowd prompting the rest of the room to do the same.

"Fuck that? If I don't DJ, they won't pay me," laughs Kweli. "That's not true. But I came to DJ."

Well, it seemed Kweli's Serato software shared the same sentiments as the crowd, and thus the technical difficulties begun. Despite the anti-climatic segue into a DJ set, Kweli quickly picked up the pieces and took the mic instead. Opening with "Get 'Em High" had the room fired up, hands flying in the air, heads bopping to the beat, and certainly craving more. Moving through such classic hits as "Get By" and "The Blast", as well as Black Star's "Definition" held the room's attention, distracting from the nervous DJ assisting alongside Kweli for the extremely impromptu set.

Despite the DJ set turning into an unplanned performance, there wasn't a complaint in the crowed or disappointment showing on any face. The success of Brown Bag Wednesdays' inaugural night is undeniable, showing a promising outlook for the newest addition to Green Room's party roster.

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Betsey Denberg