The Best and Biggest Hip-Hop Spots in London

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A black-and-white photo captures a lively crowd at a small, intimate music venue. The audience, packed closely together, has their hands raised and are energetically engaged with the performer, who is singing into a microphone. Framed pictures adorn the walls.

With Hip-Hop celebrating its 50th birthday recently, it only feels right to big up the top spots in London for some old-school jams.

Chip Shop BXTN

Black and white photo of a crowded room filled with people, many holding cameras and phones. In the center, a person is gesturing with their hand, while others focus their attention on them. The atmosphere appears energetic and lively.

378 Coldharbour Lane Brixton, SW9 8LF

The only way to start off a list like this. Affectionately known as the hip-hop Chip Shop, this unassuming Brixton spot has over the years held some proper rap pedigree, and is only set to forever rock steadily.

Their hall of fame includes Mobb Deep, Taib Kweli, DJ Yella, Large Professor, RUN DMC, Ice T, Bahamadia, DJ Eclipse, MC Eiht, KRS-One, Jeru the Damaja, Pete Rock, Cormega, and almost all the members of Wu-Tang.

With its intimate setting and the quality of acts they bring in on a regular basis, Chip Shop may just be our number one. 

See what's on here

Fridays at Queen of Hoxton

A vibrant, crowded bar with a prominent yellow sign above that reads HIP HOP HOUSE PARTY. People are mingling and enjoying drinks in the foreground, while bartenders work behind the counter. Cocktail names and prices are partially visible on the sign.
Image via ahsht

1-5 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3JX

Every single Friday, the Queen of Hoxton turns into North East London’s hip-hop hotspot.

More of a laidback, DJ’ed event rather than a chance to see live performances, the Queen of Hoxton packs a punch for hip-hop fans, offering music across two rooms and across adjacent genres, including trap, grime, afrobeats, and dancehall.

The best part is that it costs next to nothing. £3 for a ticket in today's climate is peanuts.

See upcoming events here

Blues Kitchen Brixton

A lively crowd enjoys a concert in a dimly lit venue. On stage, a band performs energetically with a singer at the forefront. Spotlights illuminate the stage, and a disco ball hangs from the ceiling, adding to the vibrant atmosphere.
Image via DesignMyNight

40 Acre Ln, London SW2 5SP

Another SW spot, Brixton’s Blues Kitchen (a chain) offers a good number of hip-hop nights between its typical funk, soul, and blues listings.

Every Friday plays host to their ‘Hip-hop, Afrobeats, + R’n’B till Late’ nights, playing an eponymous mix of flavours from across the decades.

Check for their other events too, including a 10-piece brass band performing the hits of Arctic Monkeys, or a gospel choir performing Frank Ocean. It’s an incredibly versatile venue, so come for the hip-hop on Fridays, stay for the soul on Saturdays.

And no, the kitchen part isn't an extended metaphor. Take a look at their menu.

See upcoming events here

The Jazz Café

A group of people stand in line outside the entrance of a white, ornate building with LONDON'S FAMOUS JAZZ CAFE illuminated in large letters along the top. The surroundings include other buildings, street lights, and signs.
Image via DesignMyNight

5 Parkway, Camden, NW1 7PG

Not many in the know would expect Camden’s Jazz Café – a largely seated, formal dining affair, at least upstairs – would be such an important beacon in London’s hip-hop culture.

While lacking a regular hip-hop club night (instead they opted for a regular House and Soul night called Soul City), they play host to some of the most important artists in hip-hops past, present, and future.

A birthday party for A Tribe Called Quests ‘Midnight Marauders’, complete with a live band, their de facto-annual Madvillainy event, an anniversary for Lauryn Hill’s only album, and performances Jeru the Damaja and Wut-Tang’s GZA backed by a full band, within a few weeks of each other, betrays the Café’s dedication to the culture.

See their upcoming events here