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The 50 Best Concert Venues in America

17. SOB's

City: New York
Address: 204 Varick St.
Capacity: 450
Coolest Feature: Despite its reputation in the hip-hop community, the "Home of Universal Music" caters to many different genres

Another one of our 100 coolest places of the Complex decade, SOB's has emerged as one of the city's leading hip-hop venue and nightclubs in its 31 years of operation. Sounds of Brazil opened its doors in SoHo back in 1982 because owner Larry Gold felt the neighborhood needed to tap into musical gifts created by the Afro-Latino Diaspora. So, although it's well-known and well-respected within the hip-hop community, it caters to a range of genres, welcoming legends such as Marc Anthony and Tito Puente to the stage. Still, hip-hop fans know it as the stage where careers take off, as Kanye, Kid Cudi, Wale, and Kendrick Lamar have all performed there early in their careers.

Arguably the best and most recent example of the venue's power is Drake's May 2009 performance. After floating on the success of So Far Gone for a few months, Drake's performance before a packed house of fans and curious industry types proved the then-unsigned rapper was no gimmick. A star was born on that night four years ago, another historic moment at the "Home of Universal Music."

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