Mix Ultra Lounge, Hollywood
Considering that there aren't many places for hip-hop culture to truly thrive in South Florida, it's no surprise that folks are starting to cross county lines to check out Mix Ultra Lounge on Tuesday nights.
The semi-upscale martini bar seems like it's the last place you'd expect graf artists, breakers, DJs, and MCs to start converging on a weekly basis but that's exactly what's been happening for the past two months. In the last three weeks alone, attendance has strengthened exponentially because that hard to capture essence of hip-hop culture is starting to grow at the venue. That couldn't have been more obvious last night as South Florida's hottest funk/b-boy band, Fusik, took the stage and played an incredible hour-long set while some of the best breakdancing crews from all over the area showed up to put on an exhibition.
You know something unique is brewing when a group can be labeled as a funk/b-boy band in the first place. It's not just old-school hip-hop tracks that they focus on playing, but rather the music that proceeded the genre like Latin boogaloo and James Brown style breaks. I'm generalizing here--trust me, the Fusik has a lot more dimensions to them than just this. The band's make up consists of drums, keys, bass, rhythm guitar, and percussion (my favorite touch) which helps give off that authentic feel. On certain songs they play, it's pure Macon, Georgia grit, and on others, it sounds like they're coming out of the Bronx or Spanish Harlem.
The crowd of roughly 200 people or so took to their music well as the band built up a great vibe for the breakers to do their thing. It was just b-boys that took the floor however as people could easily burst out Chicago juke or Detroit jit moves to the music and stay right on beat.
What's cool about the night in general is that not only is it a spot where dance culture is strong, but there's always live art going on throughout the bar. Multiple painters show up each week showing off their new material (and sell it too) plus there's a different featured artist each Tuesday. Last night it was Kendall-based artist Trek 6 (pictured above) and it seemed like the band's playing style was influencing his work as well.
It was a good night for live music and art in general and anyone that wants to learn more about Tuesday nights at Mix UItra Lounge should reach out directly to Haviken Hayes, the night's promoter and all-star DJ. Folks can also check out this MySpace link for more info as well.