If you walk into Carabar during the early afternoon hours of a weekday, the eerie silence drowns you. The whimsical dark setting is kissed by the sun bleeding through the windows and shedding light on bar stools soon to be turned over for a night of neighborhood fun.
Olde Towne East’s staple watering hole has become more than just a place to drink and converse; it’s become a newer refuge for lesser-known artists, particularly hip-hop artists, to showcase their skills. This wasn’t always the case.
With the rise and subsequent weaning of the Bernie’s scene during the late ’90s and early 2000s, local hip-hop artists have had limited opportunities to throw shows outside of bigger venues. It was rap duo Greenhouse (Illogic and Blueprint) that eventually brought the millennium-dawning culture to the short east side.
“It’s becoming more of a hip-hop centerpiece for Columbus hip-hop artists since we started doing stuff here back in the day,” Illogic said.
Carabar will be the location for Greenhouse’s Bend But Don’t Break release party, which officially came out Tuesday, July 9. The album is the duo’s first project since the release of Electric Purgatory Pt. 2 in 2010.
“Since 2011, we’ve had this record really close to finished and we couldn’t time it so now it’s just a load off my back to finally say, ‘Let’s put it out,’” Blueprint said.
Greenhouse are far from the new kids on the block. The Columbus duo has more than two decades of professional music experience combined and has introduced a whole new crop of urban musicians to the scene.
“It was a point two years ago where we were both like, ‘Hey man, we need to conduct ourselves not just as artists but as ambassadors to the scene and reach out to the younger guys,’” Blueprint explained.
That culminates Friday with the release party that will also feature local acts Bru Lei and E.C. Vol
“I wanted it to be like what we used to do at Bernie’s,” Blueprint said. “I really wanted to put together that kind of lineup.”
Greenhouse’s release show will also be the last show in Columbus for a while. The duo will hit the road for a tour spanning at least 30 cities in both the United States and Canada. The tour will be a nice change for both artists,although not a new experience.
“For me, I haven’t been on a tour this long in years, it’s probably been four or five years,” Illogic said. “It’s going to be difficult being away from my family but I am looking forward to getting out there and shaking hands and kissing babies.”