Every Tuesday The Jinx hosts Hip-Hop Night. With a donation of a couple dollars and the flash of an ID proving that you’re at least 21 years old, the doorman will grant you access, allowing you to step through the double wooden doors and into the Savannah hip-hop underground.
Local DJ and member of the Savannah hip-hop collective Dope Sandwich, Basik Lee hosts the event, which has been around for nearly nine years.
When Hip-Hop Night started, it was unorganized. The DJs who originally hosted weren’t truly passionate about it, so when they stopped hosting Basik Lee picked up the mic. He admits it was less for the sake of keeping the event alive and more for time to “work on [his] rhymes.”
This past Tuesday the event was packed by midnight, but with the event’s strong track record, Basik Lee doesn’t necessarily want it to become a huge event.
“I don’t care if it gets any bigger,” Basik Lee said. “Hip-Hop Night has been going strong for nine years just based off of word of mouth.”
But he admitted that though people show up, he wishes there was advertisement for the event. To Basik Lee, the weekly event helps bring the hip-hop inclined people in the community together.
“Hip-Hop Night to me is school,” Basik Lee said. “Everything I do there is a lesson.”
Basik Lee wants local MCs and producers to use Hip-Hop Night to perfect their craft and work on their skills.
“I treat hip-hop like martial arts,” Basik Lee said. “It’s not about the surface or how you appear, it’s about technique.”
Basik Lee says he switches up the event’s schedule every week. This past week the event began with a live set by DJ Doc Oc. Basik Lee then invited any emcees who wanted to freestyle up on stage while Doc Oc played classic hip-hop instrumentals for them to rap over.
“Freestyling is like improv,” Basik Lee said, confirming his belief that Hip-Hop Night is the place where aspiring emcees can work on their craft.
Basik Lee also said that there were other events similar to Hip-Hop Night in recent times, but they fell through due to a lack of genuine interest from the event coordinators.
Though Hip-Hop Night has a following and longevity, Basik Lee says that the minute he feels like he has to compromise his vision for the event is the minute he will “walk away.”
The Jinx is located at 127 West Congress St. Hip-Hop Nights are held every Tuesday.Contact Adeshola Adigun.