Local Current Blog

Cold Flows for Warm Clothes: Minnesota hip-hop artists help the homeless with 12/22 benefit show

Big Quarters. Photo by Thomas Bjorn Dunning.

In an effort to acquire winter clothing for the Minneapolis homeless population and to benefit American Indian youth in the area, some of Minnesota’s foremost hip-hop artists are joining together for Cold Flows for Warm Clothes, a benefit concert at the Cedar Cultural Center on December 22.

Sunday night’s show will feature the likes of Haphduzn, Metasota, Tall Paul, and headliners Big Quarters, among others, all of whom will be donating their time and talent to help the cause of raising money for the Little Earth of United Tribes’ Teen Center.

The initiative, now in its second year, was created by rapper Tall Paul when he saw the need for outreach to marginalized populations. Seeing the opportunity to leverage his influence in the local rap scene, he organized the first Cold Flows for Warm Clothes concert, which collected new and gently-used winter coats to donate to the Division of Indian Work for distribution.

After the success of the first concert, the organizers sought to raise money for a second cause and instituted a cover charge. As the only Native-owned and Native-preference Section 8 housing development in the United States, Little Earth stood out because the programs at the Teen Center “can help empower our young people to develop their own life paths in positive ways so that we can actually eradicate homelessness in the future,” said Sasha Houston Brown, the event’s organizer.

“Due to the politicized nature of Indigenous history and institutional racism, our voices and stories are frequently suppressed and not heard,” she continued. “This show lifts up the voices of talented artists and leverages the power of community to begin addressing some of the major issues facing the American Indian people. Through art and hip-hop, we hope to inspire and support our youth. When artists of local influence reach out—artists who not only understand but also have experienced the realities our youth face—it can make a huge impact on the lives of young people.”

Many of the artists performing at the show have ties to the American Indian heritage and community, and Houston Brown believes all of them can speak to the challenges of poverty and the urban experience.

Doors for Cold Flows for Warm Clothes open at 6:00, with the show to start at 6:30. Tickets ($10 advance, $15 at the door, all ages) can be bought at the Electric Fetus or the Cedar’s website, but admission to the event is free with the donation of a new or lightly used winter coat.

Paul Schmitt is a literature major at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. He’s inspired by bass lines, metafiction, and lengthy mealtime conversation.