Bingo and hip-hop may not seem like they have much in common at face value, but scratch the surface and there are some similarities to be found. Bingo is currently undergoing something of a resurgence, in a similar fashion to the way in which many hip-hop innovators have reinvented themselves at some point in their career. Meanwhile, bingo is slowly becoming more synonymous with nightlife and music, with the Blingo night in London marrying the classic game with popular culture in an uniquely fascinating way.
Identifying as a night of a hip-hop and R&B bingo, Blingo is set to hit Camden’s Fest Bar on February 8th and March 8th. If people were asked to describe a bingo hall, it is reasonable to suggest that they may paint a picture of a sedate atmosphere, a crowd skewed towards elderly generations and a sterile environment. Yet, Blingo is a continuation of the growing trend in which bingo is becoming a game targeted at millennials, attracting younger generations by tying in new themes to juxtapose with the classic game.
For example, Blingo promises to offer a magical night that combines bingo, beats and bling. Dance-offs, lip sync battles and house party tunes provide an unusual supporting cast to the bingo, but one that may encourage more people to take up bingo for the first time. Blingo thrilled crowds in 2018, with attendees testifying to the lively atmosphere and impressive selection of hip-hop and R&B tracks. This rise of Blingo can be situated in a wider trend of the game of bingo becoming an option for late-night socialising and an event accessible for younger generations.
Changing perceptions of bingo
Blingo is not alone in merging the worlds of bingo and partying. Bongo’s Bingo is another example of a night that gives the traditional game of bingo a distinctive makeover. The night is described as ‘crazy rave bingo’, complementing raves, dance-offs and prizes with some actual bingo. With events across the United Kingdom from Edinburgh to Southampton, Bongo’s Bingo is representative of how bingo has shaken up its identity and become more closely associated with popular culture.
The range of locations that Bongo’s Bingo reaches also demonstrates how the game of bingo is becoming increasingly available for all players. While events like Blingo and Bongo’s Bingo are both primarily hosted within the United Kingdom, although Bongo’s Bingo has also rocked up in Nantes and Paris in France, the huge selection of online bingo sites caters for bingo-lovers across the world.
While these bingo sites may not boast an overt hip-hop focus like Blingo or a tangible party atmosphere like Bongo’s Bingo, many of the games offer a level of drama and excitement that is far removed from the traditional bingo hall. One such example is Lucky Pants Bingo, one of the online bingo providers that offers bonuses to new players without requiring any deposit. This is emblematic of how bingo can reach a diverse and substantial audience with ease, with those players signing up to Lucky Pants Bingo treated to twists on a classic formula. For example, Turbo Bingo lives up to its name by providing a quickfire version of the game.
It is these variations on the standard game of bingo that emphasises how bingo is reinventing its reputation. With bingo nights delivering hip-hop beats like Blingo and implementing crazy rave features like Bongo’s Bingo, and with online bingo now remarkably easy to access, it is fair to say that the game of bingo has undergone an incredible transformation in recent years. The theme of reinvention has become progressively prevalent in society.
That theme of reinvention is well-established in the world of hip-hop, with many notable
Source: Diddy via Facebook.artists’ current form distinct from their original incarnation in the public eye. Many casual listeners may not be aware of the history of the Black Eyed Peas; their original alternative hip-hop style under the moniker Atban Klann was notably eschewed in their breakout smash album Elephunk, which bore their new band name. That set the Black Eyed Peas on a course that diverged from classic hip-hop sounds to explore more electronic and poppy elements.
One man well-versed in the process of reinvention is Sean Combs. The rapper bears an extensive list of names under which he has operated: Puff Daddy, P Diddy, Diddy, Puffy, and Brother Love. Combs is also renowned for being an intelligent entrepreneur who has enjoyed success in the world of fashion and vodka, a testament to his refusal to be pigeonholed.
2Chainz enjoyed far more success when he changed his name from ‘Tity Boi’, with the rapper’s new name devised with the intention of reaching out to a wider audience. That change certainly paid dividends, with 2Chainz releasing a string of critically-acclaimed albums. Rick Ross is another whose name change has also ushered in a period of success; the rapper’s early career was under the title of ‘Teflon Da Don’, before taking the name Rick Ross and signing million-dollar deals with Jay-Z’s Def Jam Recordings.
That theme of reinvention, of taking a new path in the hope of attracting a new audience, is one that hip-hop and bingo share in unlikely fashion. While the core game of bingo may not have undergone any name changes or seismic stylistic shifts, the delivery of bingo is beginning to move strongly away from a relaxing night at the bingo hall. More people are realising the dramatic potential of the game as the perfect companion to a night of hip-hop music or dancing. Helped by the relentless rise of online bingo providers, the existence of late-night bingo events looks set to spread right across the United Kingdom and the rest of the world.