The Latin Quarter in midtown Manhattan was the place where every Hip Hop artist came from far and wide to be blessed back in the Golden Era of Hip Hop in the mid to late 80s.
It was the club of clubs. It was the place to be seen. It was a place to hear and see the latest and greatest It was the scene of epic battles and performances..ie KRS-One vs Mele-Mel..
It was where folks like Public Enemy, LL Cool J, 3rd Bass, Schoolly D, Jungle Brothers and numerous others went to get their start..It was hard on folks who didnt bring the ruckus.. Public Enemy and MC Hammer were booed when they first performed at the famed club..
We relive those lofty days with Paradise Gray of X-Clan.. He was the one who ran the show back in the days, booking the acts and making sure the high standards were met.. He has lots of insights and stories to tell..especially about a set of secret meetings between the top artists of the day that would forever change the face of Hip Hop.and usher in an important era centered on social justice. The LQ was where the idea of rocking African leather medallions in lieu of Gold chains was born. The story behind it is fascinating..
On a side note be on the look out for a book penned by Paradise and Italian author Giuseppe Pipitone called ‘The Latin Quarter: Oral and Pictorial History‘
Enjoy the interview and the pictures..