The Lyricist Lounge was a tradition of open mic nights at different venues where one had to impress the crowd with one's freestyling rap skill. These gatherings of the hip-hop famous and unknown later spawned two albums(Lyricist Lounge Vol.1 and Vol. 2) and a TV program on MTV (the Lyricist Lounge Show).
Founded in 1991 by two high school kids named Danny Castro and Anthony Marshall in a studio apartment in Manhattan's Lower East Side. After the noises and traffic of people annoyed neighboring tennants the NYPD broke in and shut it down. After which the Lounge became mobile. Volunteers passed out flyers as the Lounge moved from club to club. Early events at places like Mark Ballroom, Tramps, Muse, and the Village Gate attracted legendary talent. The Lounge became the place where the music industry looked for new talent. Since it's beginning the Lounge has been the major springboard for today's Hip-Hop stars, including Notorious B.I.G., Sean "puffy" Combs, Eminem, Mobb Deep, Rah Digga, Mos Def, and Foxy Brown to name a few.