By Hellynn Jung
In the electro-based, glittering city of Seoul, it is rare to come across a chic lounge where hip hop prevails. As a matter of fact, it’s nonexistent. Everywhere you go, you can encounter the screechy sounds (it’s so prevalent, it’s getting old at this point) of computerized beats and rhythms and the zombie dancers that follow. Some are incredibly uninteresting, others are quite fun.
Yet rather than the music itself, people in Korea flock to electro lounges due to the sophisticated crowd and interior décor that goes hand in hand with electro. Strange, because I remember electro when it was completely underground and in dinky, little warehouses. Now it seems that hip hop has taken its place in those grungy dumpsters.
But have no fear, hip hop lovers—there is hope after all. Attached to Macaroni Market restaurant in Itaewon is the exclusive Boombar, originally called Function, and later 54 before its present name was ordained. There has been quite a bit of name-changing at this venue, but allow me to declare that Boombar is its best one yet. Indeed, there’s a bit of ‘boom’ going on behind the curtains of this 2nd floor lounge in foreigner central.
A five minute walk away from Hamilton Hotel towards the direction of Hannam Bridge, after passing a couple of Café Benes, alas lies your destination for a clean hip hop experience in Seoul. Cocktail dresses, dress shirts and nice shoes. Not to say that casual clothing is banned, but it’s definitely not a place for slippers and shorts. Expect to get benched at the door if you’ve rolled out of bed in potato sack hip hop jeans from the 1990s and gold aluminum foil rapped around your two front teeth. This is an upscale, chic hip hop lounge, long awaited by classy Seoulites who know how to have a good time.
The new horizontal DJ booth placement and additional bar make for a convenient space with an open floor for dancing and socializing. On either side of the dance floor are separate, more private areas for tables where friends can get chummy. Boombar is the only hip hop lounge in Seoul that offers comfort in a high-end atmosphere.
Furthermore, Boombar’s chandeliers and hardwood tables, meant to portray a sense of coziness are inspired from its nifty chandelier-like logo. The black and gold colors emanate a sophisticated and modern ambience, and something rather interesting… Disney images from the 1930s can be viewed through the screen installed at the bar. These details contribute to Seoul’s one and only hip hop hot spot where people can genuinely have a great time.
Over the weekend, there is a 20,000won entrance fee, and to get a better idea of its price range, an average drink costs about 10,000won. Not a bad deal for a fun weekend at the ‘Twon.