May was an absolutely phenomenal month here in Edmonton’s hip hop scene. It’s nigh impossible for me to capture in words how profoundly kick ass the past 31 days have been; however, here’s my highlight reel:
- Cypher Wild YEG Launch (May 5th) – okay, so everybody had told me how much I’d dig this crazy block party that incorporates all branches of hip hop culture…but I totally underestimated how much. I don’t think I’ve ever been more in love with an event, and I hope to see you all there over the next few months of Thursdays from 6-9pm at Churchill Square.
- Who Wants to Open for Snak the Ripper (May 11th) – In the much TwitterFaceChatted about unanimous judge’s decision, we saw a fresh MC absolutely body his competition with absolutely zero preparation for the event. It wasn’t the argument that I enjoyed here; rather, the rare beauty of a complete surprise and the raw, unfettered passion which Adawgua brought to the scene (and has been steadily maintaining ever since) that night was a genuinely incredible moment for this old dog.
- A4YC (Allies for Youth Conference) (May 16th) – Though Skitzz, Lunatikk and I arrived at the tail end, it was such a great thing to see – hip hop, being represented in its truest light; that is, enriching and empowering the community through inclusivity and education. Plus, DJ Ned held it the f*ck down (as always).
- Hip Hop In The DARK (May 20th) – This is going down as by far, hands down, one of the most fanf*ckingtastic nights of my entire life. I went expecting to be a spectator to a concurrent beat and MC battle…then ended up in the MC battle last minute! Granted, I got positively bodied by the one and only Self (of the Liberators); however, I had the absolute time of my life and was treated to an evening filled with incredible talent from some brilliant and like minded folks.
- Hip Hop in the PARK (May 21st) – A beautiful contrast and continuation of the previous night’s hijinks, all branches of the tree we call hip hop coalesced on a frigid day to gather together and celebrate the culture that makes our hearts boombapbeat. The graffiti was STUNNING, the beats CRUNCHY, the artists LIT (that’s how you use the damn term, right?), and the community was in UNITY. Highlight of this highlight is a three way tie between the tearful moment I shared with Fa-Vez discussing the warm fuzzy feeling we shared that day, the Liberators absolutely SLAUGHTERING an off-the-dome set that was 90% pizza, 5% KazMega getting on one knee, and 5% stand up comedy, and the complete and utter reckless abandon with which Parab Poet and the Hip Hop Hippies shared their passion with the crowd. Good vibes are still falling out of my pores thinking about it.
- Bless Up! with Creeazn at Chvrch of John (May 22nd) – Amazing DJs, amazing venue, the best of vibes, a date with myself in a city I can’t stop falling in love with. This one was special for me personally and professionally, as it marks the end of the week wherein I was blessed with the realization that what felt like a hoop dream a mere month ago is now being put into the works. I am beyond humbled and privileged by the open arms with which the YEG Hip Hop community has welcomed me, and can not be any more grateful to Creeazn for making space for a non-DJ to come through and bask in the good vibes.
- Skratcher Edmonton May 2016 (May 29th) – DJ Ned told me about this one early in the month, and though I was hesitant to show up (once again – not a DJ, but turntablists are my crack. Seriously. Scratching and sampling make me happier than pretty much anything else) – I am so glad that I did. There is something remarkably elegant about watching a group of DJs rock what is, at its core, a traditional round table cypher sans vocalist. I cannot wait to check out what they’ll come up with in June. ALSO, a big kudos to GoldenChild for absolutely destroying the beat game. Can’t wait to make some magic happen with you soon!
*NOTE: THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPREARED IN THE JUNE 2016 EDITION OF THE HEDONIST. REPUBLISHED IN CONJUNCTION WITH http://www.hiphophedonist.com