With local music so focused around indie rock, even a keen listener could miss the strong contingent of hip-hop artists that populates and enhances the reputation of the area. Hip-Hop Appreciation Week, sponsored by the UC Hip-Hop Congress, is attempting to fix that problem while bringing a whole culture into larger view.
The event, scheduled for various CU locations, will encapsulate the four elements of hip-hop, MC, DJ/producing, break-dancing and graffiti, said UC Hip-Hop Congress co-chair Greg Frazier.
Bringing together those sometimes-disparate parts of the culture is a key reason for the week’s existence. “For us, it’s just about making people on our campus realize that hip-hop culture is not the same thing as rap music on the radio,” Frazier said. “It’s definitely about a culture; [there is] social activism, equality … [it is] not about misogyny and what chains you have.”
The April 3 show will consummate the work they’ve completed. “We really stacked the line-up,” Frazier said. Around 15 acts will perform, including Braille, who is from Oregon.
Another goal of the show is to show the strength of the CU scene. “This year, it’s definitely grown a lot. Last year, we had a hard time getting a lot of MC performances, but this year, it’s really picked up,” Frazier said. “Krukid and Cornbread, I know they perform almost every week.”
This is an opportunnity for Congress to forge a broad appeal for hip-hop in CU. Krukid is a good example. “He has some appeal for the crowd that UC Hip-Hop Congress normally reaches,” Frazier said. “Then he has the song on the radio, and that’s the bar anthem the more mainstream and the Greek community picked up on.”
Building interest in the culture can only be good for a genre that has remained strong for so long but is now sinking both commercially and artistically under its own bravado and mediocrity. There is still greatness, Frazier said, though it is hiding underneath the cracks. “It’s not in your face just because you can’t really sell the image of hip-hop culture,” Frazier said.
For him, there’s a strong reason for that disparity. “Some of the narratives that [good] hip-hop tends to talk about aren’t really something that you’re going to be like, ‘Oh, yeah, let’s throw that on and have a good time,’” he said.

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