Snapback LBC is the kind of club night where everybody knows your jam. From Snoop Dogg’s “Ain’t No Fun” to Roxanne Shante’s “Go On Girl” to Jay Z’s “Big Pimpin”, you can be sure that the attendees at Snapback LBC can recite every line word for word. Every Friday night below the Federal Bar in downtown Long Beach, a crowd with more hip-hop knowledge than your average club goers comes out to take in the music of ’80s and ’90s hip-hop, the way it was always intended to be heard, in an inviting house party like atmosphere. At Snapback’s Long Beach location there is a bar, but it’s in the far back of the club. There is a dress code is casual. There are security guards, but bodily harm is more likely to come from a new friend slapping you on the back, then some drunk dude wanting to start a fight with you. Snapback brings you the fun of clubbing, listening and dancing to music made to dance to listen and dance to in a group setting, without the drama and pretense that sometimes accompanies club nights.
“If you go to Las Vegas or some clubs in Orange County, it’s different, totally different” says DJ Icy Ice, one of the main DJs and organizers for Snapback, which also includes a parallel Snapback night on Thursdays at The Federal Bar in North Hollywood. “It’s almost like we want to transport you back to an old school 90’s house party. That’s the vibe, that’s the ambiance. Of course it’s in a club, but we want you to feel like you’re in a house party that’s just jammin, and people are singing and rapping along to the songs.” From the beginning, the whole premise of Snapback was to bring nostalgic old school music back, decades before EDM or trap music bangers. They’ve been champions of old school, feel-good music.
Growing up in Carson in the mid 80’s Icy Ice experienced and participated in the cultural and musical heritage that he now pays homage to at SnapBack. “Growing up in Carson it was multi cultural,” he says. “And I grew up in an era where hip hop was just growing. I’d walk to school see graph pieces on the walls, get to school, MC’s were always like kinda in like ciphers rhyming, things like that, and then people were always trying to breakdance.”
But the thing that did it for Ice was his first time seeing a DJ. He was always musical, and came from a musical family, but his first experience of seeing a DJ live at his middle school junior high dance is where I fell in love. “I was like ‘oh man, I got to be that, I gotta learn how to do what he’s doing.'” Soon he was hunting down friends who had DJ equipment, going over to friends houses that were playing with their older brothers DJ equipment. “And so it was that whole process, that’s what sparked it for me, and then listening to the KDAY mixmasters. Just that whole experience back in the day.”
Ice went from looking up to legendary DJs like Julio G and Tony G cutting up Run-DMC’s “It’s Like That”, to making major moves himself with The Beat Junkies, eventually getting into radio DJing at The Beat 92.3, the revamped KDAY, and currently Power 106, all while continuing to spin live all around LA, from Grammy to birthday to record release parties.
“It’s based and rooted with DJs” says Ice about SnapBack, especially the LBC location, where The Baka Boyz have performed, Grand Wizard Theodore, and Talib Kweli, “we’re keeping that essence.”
SnapBack LBC happens every Friday night below The Federal Bar in downtown Long Beach, 102 Pine Avenue, Long Beach, CA.