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Posted: 10:02 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013

Monday at Nasty's Austin's longest running hip-hop weekly turns 17 

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Mel at Nasty's
Mel at Nasty's

By Deborah Sengupta Stith

Tucked away on an easy-to-miss side street just north of campus sits Nasty’s, an unpretentious dive known for its pitchers of margaritas and rugby-centric décor. There, premier Austin party rocker, DJ Mel alongside a rotating cast of partners has been hosting a weekly throw down, sweat it out hip-hop dance party since the Clinton administration.  

A haven for turntablists and old school hip-hop aficionados, the party is known for its killer mix. You might hear this week’s hits but there’s a good chance they’ll be smashed together with classic break beats, dancehall bangers and highlights from hip-hop’s golden age.

For the 17th anniversary shindig Mel is flying in Seattle DJ Four Color Zack, winner of the 2012 Red Bull Threestyle competition and an affiliate of Brooklyn Based hip-hop collective Fool’s Gold. We’re confident that Mel and Zack will wreck shop.  

We hit Mel up for his thoughts on the party’s longevity and a Nasty’s Greatest Hits Spotify playlist.   

What’s the secret sauce? How does this weekly event have a history that’s three times longer than the lifespan of the average downtown club?

I think it's has to do with the fact that it's off the beaten path and doesn't rely on being in a busy area. It has its clientele, which remains loyal and steadfast. 

Even has your own career has taken off you’ve kept this event going. What inspires you to keep coming back to the same north campus hole in the wall after say, performing for thousands at a festival or rocking the Obamas?

It's home. Yeah, sometimes the contrast is crazy. I'm always there after a weekend in some other city or state. So it's grounding. It reminds me of where I came from.

Obviously, the mix changes, but can you give us a ‘greatest hits’ list of songs that have had staying power through the years at Nasty’s?

  • Zhane - Mr. DJ
  • Outkast - Rosa Parks
  • Outkast - Atliens
  • Anything on the Bam Bam Riddim
  • DJ Jimi - Where They At
  • Lil Keke - Southside
  • Fat Pat - Tops Drop
  • UGK - International Players Anthem
  • Sister Nancy - Bam Bam
  • Ghost Town DJs - My Boo

» Listen to these songs in Spotify


Nasty’s is a 21 & up club located at 606 Maiden Lane. The 17th anniversary party takes place on Monday, Dec. 16, with music kicking off at 10 p.m. There’s a $7 cover. Show up prepared to dance.

Deborah Sengupta Stith

About Deborah Sengupta Stith

Deborah Sengupta Stith is a music writer for the Austin American-Statesman.

Connect with Deborah Sengupta Stith on:Twitter

Send Deborah Sengupta Stith an email.

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