As the line waits outside, the thump-a-thump sound penetrates the walls. Once past the doorman and inside the Blak and Bloo club, you are almost there--the thumping is not far off. Open an inner door and boom!--base in your face! You're in the Boogie Lounge.
This 10-month-old theme club has brought hard-core hip hop and funk revival out of the closet and into the mainstream at Blak and Bloo on Thursday nights. The atmosphere of Boogie Lounge is casual and the fashion is street. Best of all, you don't have to make phone calls and chase middlemen to find this underground-style spot.
The Boogie Lounge recently started a second dance floor that features pure funk, '70s sound and sprinklings of reggae. Co-promoter Brad X. says the main room where disc jockey Rob Harris reigns "was getting so packed that we had to open another dance floor."
Harris spins the hip hop sounds of James Brown and Eric B. and Rakim. Occasionally, though, he'll throw in some gangsta rap and even a little "dubadellic reggae." Once in a while, a notable rapper, such as MC Everlast or Def Jeff will emerge. But what sets apart the Boogie Lounge is the generous portions of pop funk--KC and the Sunshine Band and others--that Harris integrates into his musical lineup. Thus, along with the requisite step dancing, it isn't unusual to see dancers doing '70s moves such as the Bump and the Freak.
Yuppies dress down and get funky inside the dark, minimalist rooms. And the club itself is dressed down. The main room has the feel of being inside one of the club's black, booming speakers. There are two bars and two pool tables.
Brad X. says, "We have a great cross-section of people--actors, musicians, artists--a real unpretentious crowd. On a recent Thursday night, David Faustino, portrayed as a woman-less womanizer on the Fox sitcom "Married with Children," was spotted dancing. "I come here for the women and because I love hip hop," he says.
The unisex fashions at the Boogie Lounge are definitely street: Baseball caps and jerseys, parkas, baggy jeans and stepping shoes. Men's hair is short with sideburns. Women often pull their hair through the backs of adjustable baseball caps a la Janet Jackson.
Local fashion student Kristen Fairchild describes the New York City-type fashions at the club: "The guys here spend $140 to look like this, and the guys in New York do it for $20."
"I guess this is the last frontier for the club scene--to look like you don't have any money," Fairchild said.
Name: Boogie Lounge (Thursdays at the Blak and Bloo nightclub, 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.), 7574 Sunset Blvd., (213) 876-1120, or (213) 372-6150 for Boogie Lounge's promoters, the Artist Groove Network.
Cover: $10. Must be 21.
Door policy: Women are preferred. Groups of girls are a shoo-in. Guys with girls can get in. Groups of guys will have a long wait.
Price of a beer: $4 for a Corona.