Note: The 5 Spot caught
on fire and is no more but the memories
that building contained and the people
it's touched will live on. Haile Campbell,
a frequent visitor of The 5 Spot decided
to put her thoughts on the site and we
hope that you will also share your thoughts
on this important landmark in Philadelphia
musical history. Please send any thoughts
on The 5 Spot to email@example.com and
we will update this page in the near future.
Thanks and live on, live strong!
I stepped off a plane and I turned on
my phone, as usual but all of a sudden
my Sidekick was bombarded with e-mails
and texts. The words were simple, but
they broke my heart. "The 5 Spot
burned down." I felt an immediate
wave of sadness come over me. Then a thought
crossed my mind that made me laugh. I
realized this home to so much music housed
it's last party, hosted by Skipmode and
Flipside, ironically titled "Hip-Hop
Lives". It couldn't have been a better
send off. The 5 Spot sent us a final message.
It wasn't like I or many of my crew have
spent much time in there in the last year,
but it was always like a home to me for
in the preceding years. Hearing the news
felt oddly like someone telling me that
my childhood home had been torn down.
The 5 Spot was indeed the place where
I fell in love with Philly and it's sound.
The 5 Spot was an amazing little place.
It did not look like much from the outside,
in fact if you walked down the alley looking
for it, it was entirely possible to pass
it completely. Yet, when you walked through
the doors, a whole world opened up. On
the downstairs there was usually a DJ
holding it down, making people shake their
booties on the dance floor, while the
more timid looked on.
the downstairs was the party spot, it
was the upstairs that made the place legendary.
Walking up the flight of stairs, energy
could be felt. Energy of dreams being
built gained power with every step. The
door opened up to a world of talent and
creativity bubbling and grooving. At any
given moment you could catch a new performer
honing their skills, or big names hanging
out and feeling the vibe. This place has
seen everyone from local acts to big names
like Erykah Badu and Prince grace it's
doorstep and many times it's tiny stage.
Yet, the star-power wasn't the drawing
point. The true signature was the intimacy.
The stage made you feel connected to the
performer (they were face to face with
you, after all) and your fellow attendees.
Many friendships were built and a community
cut its teeth here.
I met and fostered relationships with
some of the most interesting and influential
in my life. If it wasn't for The 5 Spot,
who knows what direction my life would
have turned. Thanks to The 5 Spot and
it's staff for giving birth to a wonderful
legacy. The 5 Spot will live on through
our memory and the movement in which it
We thought that we would share a few quotes
from friends and members of the World
deeply saddened by the loss of The 5 Spot
because it was one of the very few venues
that would feature Hip Hop left in Philly.
I was just there the night before it caught
fire for the Hip Hop Lives event!
I had a lot of great times there and got
to see and be part of a lot of dope shows
there. I met a lot of good folks there
too! R.I.P. 5 Spot." - DJ Ultraviolet
5 Spot in Philadelphia was the type of
place that every artist both deserves
and cherishes. Events such as the Black
Lily, Beat Society and Hip Hop Lives always
nurtured artistic expression that went
against the grain." - DJ Phillie
Blunt of the Illvibe Collective
5 Spot at one point was a magical place,
my fondest memories wereTuesday nights
when the Black Lily would showcase Philly's
amazing talent to an audience that appreciated
what the city had to offer." - Rame,
Before entering the Philly Hip Hop
scene, I knew of three things: The Liberty
Bell, South Street, and The Five Spot.
I remember when I first started working
for WPHI I was told to check out Beat
Society. I was so excited to finally see
and experience the place I had heard of
so much. When I entered the spot I was
in love. The atmosphere: "Real",
the sound system "Bangin", the
vibe "Authentic" The Staff "Friendly".
I was excited to be apart of the legacy,
being a part of No Excuse Thurs. and attending
so many the shows showcasing local groups
(Hip Hop and otherwise). You will be missed...
- Tactics (Skratch Makaniks)
will always have fond memories of The
5 Spot . Not only did I get to experience
great music from The Roots to Kindred
and The Jazzyfatnastees but it was also
the place I met my wife!" - William
Baptist, GeoClan.com Politics Editor
5 Spot was one of the few venues we as
Philadelphians and musicians could always
rely onto support events of quality and
substance. We will feel its loss"
- DJ Statik of the Illvibe Collective
seven years ago, when I first came to
Philly in 1999, the 5-spot was the first
nite place I visited. It was so different
than anything Cali offered. At the time,
people across the country just started
hearing about the Philly Sound, me included.
My favorite night at the 5 Spot has to
be the Black Lilly night every Tuesday.
I can't count how many times Jag, Jill,
Flo Brown, Mercedes or Tracy just killed
it and left me breathless. It was pure
heaven. One I think we won't find again
anytime soon in Philly. It was our moment
in time." – Joni Bishop, GeoClan.com
truly be able to say you know what Philly
Hip Hop and the spoken word movementwas
all about you would have to step into
spot where it always took place! Peace
to The 5 Spot!" - Cast from Schoolz
"The 5 Spot wasn't just a building
but an institution of our culture. It
was a place where young artists could
nurture their craft. It will surely be
missed." - Norman "B.O.B."
Green, GeoClan.com Assistant Music Editor
met a lot of good people there. It was
a magicalplace and I'll miss it."
- Dice Raw
I reached the ripe age of 21 The Five
Spot was one of the first clubs I went
to.In fact it was my first Black Lily
. I saw Floetry( and for those of you
who know me know that was the first time
i fell in love with the songstress) ,
and The Jazzys(Jazzyfatnastees for those
of you that dont know).That was just some
of the highlights of that night...Jill
Scott popped out of a room in the back!
It was the first of many wild and crazy
nights I encountered at the Five Spot.
From The Black Lily to so many album release
parties, Scion parties and just regular
parties there was a feeling of family
at the Five Spot. It feels like the cousin
you only see once and a while is not there
anymore. 5 Spot you will be missed but
the memories will live on forever. - C.A.B
Calli, Jack of All Trades/GeoClan Music
5 Spot was the first place I could access
those Philly based artists I listened
to when I was gaining my musical tastes
and was a beacon of light to the power
of the Philadelphia sound made famous
a generation before me.Along with the
Philly based acts it was a place some
"nobody" could cut their teeth
and gain confidence and acclaim! It was
nothing for me to see The Roots, Kindred,
Jill Scott, BIlal and The Jazzyfatnastees
there and I was always amazed at how many
people heard of it from all over the world!
I just was just Philly to me! I turns
out it was so much more. Those Black Lily
nights, hosted by Riva, were some of my
most memorable nights and I hope we can
get just a glimpse of that shine back
in one location in the future!" -
Clayton Ruley, GeoClan.com Editor In Chief
any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org