Local Current Blog

Save the Date: The State of Hip Hop at the Fitzgerald Theater on May 10

Photo by Nate Ryan/MPR

89.3 the Current and MN Original are putting together a big hip-hop event at the Fitzgerald Theater on Saturday, May 10. Over the course of two hours we’ll attempt to answer some big questions: How did Minnesota become home to one of the largest and most diverse hip-hop communities in the country? What makes our hip-hop scene (or, more appropriately, our variety of subgenres and scenes) so unique? And what do you need to know about local hip-hop in 2014?

The State of Hip Hop will take over the Fitz as a live event on May 10 and will culminate in an hour-long show on tpt (which airs MN Original) and an hour-long special on the Current. The event will showcase dozens of artists in performances, interviews, panel discussions, and videos, and will be co-hosted by H2′s Kevin Beacham and me, Andrea Swensson.

Before we get too far in the planning process, however, we want to hear from you. Because above all else, we want to put together an event that honors the achievements of our hip-hop community and accurately reflects the State of Hip Hop in Minnesota in 2014.

In advance of the State of Hip Hop event on May 10, we’re hosting a community meeting and inviting interested artists, fans, and community members to participate in a panel discussion on the way hip-hop is covered by the media in Minnesota and an open conversation on how we can make this event as inclusive and representative as possible. The meeting takes place this Monday, March 24, at 7 p.m. at Intermedia Arts, and it’s both free and open to all ages.

We’ll open the meeting with a panel discussion about the relationship between media outlets and the hip-hop community, and what artists and the press can do to ensure representative coverage of the culture and community in the media. How do factors like community segregation, white privilege, and the presence of an established, successful label in town affect which artists get coverage? And how can we break down those barriers from both sides?

Panelists Desdamona, Guante, the Lioness, and Toki Wright will share their thoughts and experiences, and we’ll keep the floor open so audience members can join in the discussion.

After the panel discussion wraps up, we will talk specifically about what we have in mind for the State of Hip Hop event, and host an open Q&A with the crowd to collect your feedback. Bring your ideas for artists, topics, and format to share—we want to hear it all.

If you can attend the meeting, hit the link below to let us know you’ll be there. And regardless of whether you’ll be able to attend, share your thoughts by filling out a few questions about the event specifically, and about the state of Minnesota hip-hop in general. We would love to hear from you.

And stay tuned as we prepare to announce the final lineup and all of the details on Tuesday morning, April 1.

Link: RSVP to the March 24 meeting and share your thoughts