• Courtesy of Jonathan Kirby
  • Jonathan Kirby and “Fresh” Lewis

Chances are if you’re heading out to a DJ night focused on pre-millennial hip-hop the playlist will skew heavily towards the usual suspects from the U.S. coasts. Numero Group‘s Jonathan Kirby comes to correct that issue tonight at Danny’s with a night dedicated to hip-hop LPs from unexpected locales—Oklahoma City, Louisville, Richmond, and all parts of the Carolinas. “Private-press rap records are my favorite music, and I realized that although eBay auctions using the description ‘Random Rap’ had begun catching fire I had never heard of a night dedicated to unheard rap,” Kirby says.

He’s calling the event Unsigned Hype, which shares its name with the Source column that first put Chicago rapper Common in the spotlight back in 1991. Kirby’s focusing on tracks that came out between 1994 and 2000, but he’ll also throw on pre-90s records and even cuts by artists from better-known hip-hop scenes. “A major exception is Atlanta and my reasoning is because it’s Atlanta,” he says.

Kirby aims to make this a monthly DJ night, and considering he helps re-release music by overlooked talents with his day job I imagine he’s got more than enough great private-press and obscure hip-hop 12-inches to soundtrack many late nights at Danny’s. The first Unsigned Hype kicks off at 10 PM, so get there on time if you want to dance to a parallel history of hip-hop.

To prepare for the event I gathered a few overlooked old-school hip-hop songs from Chicago. Give them a spin below: