Culture in A city of transplants can sometimes come off vapid and superficial. It's hard to plant your feet into something that is ever changing and almost entirely invested in the "trending now" fluidity that runs ramped in a city like Los Angeles. The rich soils of Leimert Park however have proven otherwise, birthing and providing fertile ground for West African Drum circles, Jazz Legends and for the last 9 years, Bananas.

This underground , coveted hip hop open mic and performance event is home to some of LA's most raw and prolific talent, acting as a starting point for artists such as Doja Cat, inner wave, and Anderson Paak. With about ten unexpected performers per event, Kyle Guy, aka Verbs, Bananas founder and long standing talent booker, can with out fail be found on the side of the stage negotiating with LA's youth akin to a shark tank episode.

This platform is not only a launching point for artists of all ages, it is also a space for youth to express their talents, network with others, and sometimes escape a reality of homelessness, and hardship. In a time of fame and individualized success, Bananas stands as a community, of the people, for the people. It is Truly, a Cultural Staple."

BANANAS - Every 3rd Tuesday you can find us in Leimert Park, with this ultimate labor of love bringing together some of the most talented, diverse and dynamic individuals in Los Angeles with our all-ages, open format music showcase.  To a lot of people, this area holds it's prejudice and assumptions based around it's long-running stigmas attached to popular culture based on geographic location alone. 

Classic movies like Boyz In The Hood, Mi Voda Loca, Don't Be A Menace, Blood In Blood Out, Menace to Society, Friday, One Eight Seven and beyond have all been reflections projecting a view of the life in South Central Los Angeles / Inglewood / Crenshaw / Compton and the surrounding areas. 

Whether it's too far, not safe, full of drugs, violence, gangs or whatever other information you may have gathered, these have all been used as excuses on why people steer clear of said place. Meanwhile on the contrary, we feel like this area is something special and may be one of the richest, rawest, and most sincere parts of Los Angeles.  
It's kind of sad how what we do from the outside looking in would be considered a civil disturbance to WestLA, Echo Park, Chinatown, DTLA and beyond. Meanwhile, in Leimert Park, we're untouchable, it's in this same place that Project Blowed lasted for over a decade. Our party carries the torch from the blowded era until now. Whether it be a drop-in from Kendrick Lamar or countless perforamnces by Anderson Paak and numerous other alumni who've gone on to bigger and better things. Most of us realize and respect who we are, what we do, and why we do it. 

Bananas is the rose that grew through concrete, and we are equally proud and excited to be able to share our special event across more and larger platforms nationwide. 




2015 Bananas - Best Hip-Hop Night in Los Angeles