Week long summit promotes local and international hip-hop
By Justin Hood
Cuban hip-hop trio Krudas Cubensi appears 5/1 at Out ch’YondA and 5/2 at UNM.
Push the presidential debates and other politics aside: The New Mexico Hip-Hop Congress has its own agenda for spreading diversity. NMHHC Organizers Bryan Gibel, Sugar Shane and Travis Cole have been active within New Mexico's hip-hop community for years. With the help of other die-hard activists like Breakin' Hearts breakdance promoter Cyrus Gould, New Mexico's HHC jumped up on its feet last September. Not even one year old, the HHC is building momentum with New Mexico’s first International Hip-Hop Awareness Week.
Bocafloja represents the Bronx and Mexico City 5/1 and 5/2 at UNM.
Beginning Saturday, April 26, HHC will host a week-long series of events at several venues across Albuquerque. Artists, musicians, poets, dancers and filmmakers from across the state and around the world will mesh styles and ideas during each event. “We’re bringing in artists from Havana and Guantanamo, Cuba; Mexico City; and others from around the country,” says Gibel. The goal, he explains, is to explore diversity through the medium of hip-hop.
HHC booked a number of special guests from Spanish-speaking countries. Organizers say they're hoping to expose parallels between other cultures and New Mexico and to bring attention to social justice issues. “Before we started the New Mexico chapter for Hip-Hop Congress, we were involved in an exchange program with Pastors for Peace," says Gibel. "We would caravan through Mexico and eventually to Cuba protesting the travel embargo that has been in effect since the ’60s.” That cross-cultural outreach had a huge impact on International Hip-Hop Awareness Week's formation.
The goal, he explains, is to explore diversity through the medium of hip-hop.
HHC says it made a point of jamming a comprehensive range of cultures and styles from the hip-hop community into the span of a week. And that wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the support and activism of the community. “There are so many people behind this movement we haven’t mentioned that play such a crucial role,” says Cole, HHC secretary of communications.
Depending on the schedules of its 80-plus members, the New Mexico Hip-hop Congress holds meetings as often as possible. If you're interested in becoming a part of HHC, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For any other information regarding events and ticket sales, contact Travis Cole at 350-2553.
Paper Chase Press is tight.
International Hip-hop Awareness Week
Saturday, April 26
Hip-Hop Stew and Film Festival at Stove (114 Morningside NE)
Doors open at noon and the event is all-ages until 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 for the day event, $10 after 8 p.m. or $12 for an all-day pass.
Hip-Hop Awareness Week kicks off with a film festival and ongoing art showcase called Hip-Hop Stew, featuring new art and live music performances by local acts Zoology and Habeas Corpses, and Artson (part of the Rock Steady chapterin Las Vegas, Nev.). There will also be a Beat Society beat-making showcase featuring Eph Sharp (of The 2bers), Cody and Phen (of Jivin’ Scientists, from Arizona).
Headlining for the first time in Albuquerque is Wildchild from the prominent hip-hop group Lootpack. Starring in one of the event's featured films, Wildchild will stick around after its showing for a question-and-answer session with the film’s producer, Naython Vane.
Sunday, April 27
Cypher’s @ Stove (114 Morningside NE)
Doors open at 2 p.m. Free, all-ages.
A lazy Sunday filled with break-dancing circles, painting, MCs, DJs and barbecue.
Monday, April 28
Lunchtime show outside the UNM SUB
Noon to 1 p.m. Free, all-ages.
Live performances from Zoology and El Vuh (California).
Hip-hop panel discussions on UNM campus
Time and location TBA.
Tuesday, April 29
Poetry slam competition in the UNM SUB Atrium
The winner of this event will receive tickets to Hip-Hop Awareness Week's finale on Friday, May 2, and a chance to perform at the event.
From the ladies! All elements of hip-hop will be performed by female artists. DJ Tahnee spins, Lady SayWut! beatboxes, Aelius Heroin performs live production and beats, and live art made by MOOXIE. Live performances from b-girls Krudas Cubensi (Cuba). For more info, contact Out ch'YondA at 385-5634.
Friday, May 2
International Hip-Hop Festival in UNM SUB Ballrooms B and C