BEST PLACE TO CHECK OUT THE LOCAL HIP-HOP SCENE
Red Tide's Lazy does promos and booking for the Orpheum. The group's emphasis has shifted from just doing their music to bringing in other bands and encouraging the local scene. The club has become ground zero for underground hip-hop bands. Props to regulars: Double Helix, Unseen and The Void. Second best place: New World Brewery.
Orpheum, 1902 E. Eighth Ave., Ybor City, 813-248-9500.
BEST PLACE TO DO YOUR HIP-HOP HOMEWORK
"Hip-Hop Flavors" and "Brother Fire," WMNF-88.5 FM
Quality. These two shows will keep you up with quality. Wide range of cutting edge stuff combined with the very roots of the music. Again, Lazy's working hard; this time with Kramtronics and DJ Blenda. Combine that with "Brother Fire's" later in the week show, and WMNF provides a forum for artists who would otherwise slip under the radar. Good opp to hip yourself to some underground work.
"Hip-Hop Flavors" runs 1-4 a.m. Tuesday, and "Brother Fire" runs 11 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday, on WMNF-88.5 FM.
BEST PLACE FOR A SECRET NERD TO MAINTAIN HIS EDGE
Hooked on Comics
A shout out to my favorite salesman David and to Hooked on Comics for feeding my anime addiction.
Hooked on Comics, 4149 W. Waters Ave., Tampa, 813-885-5171 or www.hookedoncomics.net.
BEST SMOOTHIE JUNKY HIDE-OUT
Gotta give love to this smoothie joint. They use all fresh ingredients and very little ice and added sugars. I'm a Papaya Point junky trying to get three to four a week as my budget allows. Other food places that I give the love to: Pane Rustica (2821 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa) and Laughing Cat's lunch buffet (1811 15th St., Ybor City).
Xtreme Juice, 619 S. Dale Mabry, Tampa, 813-879-6033.
BEST PLACE TO CATCH A HIP-HOP PARTY
This 1918 Cass St. home with extra large porch has been central to many parties. Split between three roommates, this manse west of downtown provides writing space, quiet time and a neighborhood that hasn't been gentrified into blandness. Loud parties don't merit calls to the police. Parties often include notable out-of-town and local bands and DJs.
BEST PLACE TO FIND INSPIRATION
My old room in my mom's house
It's filled with my oldest toys and models. They hold memories, reminders of where I came from and the significance these objects have held. It keeps me fresh.