John Moyer, aka "Uncle John", owner of Shakedown Street
"Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got. Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. Wouldn’t you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came."– "Cheers".
Sad news is reverberating throughout the North Carolina hip hop scene, especially within RDU (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC). Yesterday it was announced that Shakedown Street in Raleigh, NC will be closing permanently at the end of this month. The official date is August 30, 2012. This news is almost one year to the date The Brewery in Raleigh, NC closed, which was another venue important to RDU’s hip hop scene.
John Moyer, aka "Uncle John" is the owner/operator of Shakedown Street, along with his wife Darlene. Through his business he provided an outlet for hip hop culture to be appreciated by the public. Earlier this year, Shakedown Street was voted by the people as one of the #1 destinations to hear hip hop in RDU. The venue opens everyday at 4:20pm and offers live shows in the genres of hip hop, rock and more.
Shakedown Street is also the home of Eargasm Entertainment’s weekly Sucker Free Sundays event. Every Sunday, with the exception of holidays, for the past two years A. Robb, Portia D. and the crew held Sucker Free Sundays, which provided local, statewide and national emcees the opportunity to hit the stage and perform for a crowd hungry for a good hip hop show. Special events such as Superbowl Sunday were no exception,
as on holidays such Superbowl the night’s hip hop show and activities would center around the occasion. For example, on Father’s Day Sunday, all of the performing emcees were fathers and included material in their sets referencing fatherhood. On Halloween everybody dressed up, including the performing artists.
Sucker Free Sundays at Shakedown Street also impacted the community, holding charity events for local domestic violence organizations and #RespectMyVote parties, part of the national Hip Hop Caucus’ campaign.
My favorite memory of Sucker Free Sundays at Shakedown Street are from the Summer. The Eargasm crew would break out the grill and cook outside in front of Shakedown Street. Uncle John would set up picnic tables for us. People would be invited to bring food to put on the grill and share with everyone. Even if you didn’t have any money to contribute to the food, all were welcome to sit down, eat and then come inside to enjoy a great hip hop show.
On Sunday August 26th, Eargasm Entertainment is planning a HUGE blowout celebration in honor of Shakedown Streets’ closing and to thank Uncle John for his contributions to the hip hop community. Stay tuned for more details.
RDU’s local hip hop enthusiasts responded yesterday via Twitter, contributing to the #ShakedownMemories topic. If you have a special memory of Shakedown Street, please share it below or at the Twitter hashtag above.