Who’s a die-hard hip-hop fan? Everyone enjoys claiming the title. In reality, it’s rare to find the truth behind who can truly be labeled a fan because many so called fans lack the knowledge of hip-hop’s true origin or how it fits into society.
Hip-hop holds history. Enough that there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of books written about this art that emerged and continues to thrive since the early 1970s. Even in its birthplace there’s a grand opening scheduled possibly in 2018 for the country’s first ever hip-hop museum in the Bronx, NY. Now, Hip-hop is more than music that we dance to in our aunt’s basement celebrating birthdays. It’s a way of life.
Hip-hop does not stop at New York. All over the world, it has created a culture that people now eat, breathe, sleep and live by. Over the weekend, Baltimore artists exhibited a piece of what hip-hop consists of to them at the #HipHop4thePeople Cypher: A Mini Hip-Hop Museum fundraiser held at the SAND gallery, formerly known as the Incredible Little Art Gallery.
I attended the cypher expecting it to be like any other I’ve gone to in the art scene. But what made it different this time was majority it’s location, and that the event served a bigger purpose for the creative community.
There has never been any platform in Baltimore created to solely pay homage to hip-hop. In fact, artists in Baltimore often nag about lack of support in the city from their peers. So when there’s a notion that a Mini Hip-Hop Museum is coming to town, local culture fanatics become excited because there is finally a place that will represent their way of living. Not only will we finally have somewhere that will represent the history of hip-hop, but also there will be a place to symbolize hip-hop from a Baltimorean’s perspective.
#HipHip4thePeople was exactly what it stated to be; for the people emerged in the culture of hip-hop. The atmosphere mimicked what hip-hoppers find familiar in a cypher’s circle. MCs took turns hopping in spitting their most vicious lyrics. Many were caught freestyling and others brought recycled hot 16 bars.
Mini Hip-Hop Museum President and Creative Director Karl Keel, also known as Karlito Freeze, opened the night up as the host and DJ of the event. Event goers were queued in on where donations towards the cypher were being made. Partial proceeds were gifted to hurricane relief for Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria to aid victims in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Other funding went towards the opening of the Mini Hip-Hop Museum expected to open in early 2018.
The cypher went for an hour and was followed up with another event sponsored by the SAND Gallery, Adult Game Night. To drop a few names of MCs who participated in the evening’s cypher were:
Kontrah Diction , Da’Rious, Donnie Breeze, Ollie Voso, Mobish Rico, and Tony Ray
All rappers are from Baltimore making a name for themselves in the “game.” Hopefully, we will find them on the walls of the Mini Hip-Hop Museum in the future. Thanks, guys, for your contribution to the culture over this weekend. I know I definitely enjoyed it.
See more photos of participants in the gallery below.
When the Mini Hip-Hop Museum opens in Baltimore, what local artist do you expect to be exhibited in its halls? Leave your comments below.
Have you seen photos from the 3rd Annual Madonnari Arts Festival? View awesome chalk work done on the Baltimore street here on Doc’s Castle Media.