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 Apr 24 - 30, 2008 
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Spotlight

Hip-Hop Congress

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.
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.
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 nm.hiphop.congress@gmail.com. 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 chapter in 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

7 p.m.

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.

Wednesday, April 30

Lunchtime show outside the UNM SUB

Noon to 1 p.m. Free, all-ages.

Live performances from Godsent and M.O.D.

Vinyl and Verses at Burt’s Tiki Lounge

9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. 21+, free.

DJ Battle for Vinyl and Verses. No entry fee. $300 cash prize, more prizes TBA.

Thursday, May 1

May Day march for immigration reform featuring Bocafloja (Mexico)

Time and location TBA.

Women in hip-hop at Out ch'YondA (929 Fourth Street SW)

10 p.m. $5 suggested donation, all-ages.

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

Immigration and International Hip-Hop Forum

4 to 6 p.m. Free, all-ages.

Town hall-style discussions with Bocafloja, Krudas Cubensi and Almas Intocables (California/Texas) and UNM grad students and professors. Co-sponsored by UNM’s El Centro de la Raza.

Hip-Hop Sin Fronteras Benefit Concert

6 p.m. to midnight. $10, all-ages (pre-sale tickets at ¡Que Chula!, 3400 Central SE, 255-0515).

Live performances by Krudas Cubensi, Bocafloja, Almas Intocables, Cultura Fuerte, Definition Rare and M.O.D., and DJs Ohm and Kayote. B-boy exhibition by FOF and UHF crews. Live art by SUG. Live screen printing by Paper Chase Press.

 
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