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Friday, April 16, 2010

Hip-hop's attempt to take over Athens

Posted By on Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 4:50 PM


In the recent weeks, New Earth Music Hall has been the place to catch national, regional, and local hip-hop acts at least once a week with CL's Best New Voice of ’09, Boog Brown, performing two weeks ago and political rap duo Dead Prez, Atlantic Records newbie Donnis and northern cats Kidz in the Hall headlining the H.E.R. hip-hop fest at Bulldog Nation.

Tonight, RocNation’s J.Cole is performing with an opening set from jazz-drumming, song-crooning lyricist Lyric Jones. Her efforts to increase the hype of the Athen's hip-hop movement are bringing more artists to the college town, but there is still limited progress within the music scene.

How did you become involved with the show? Are you familiar with the lineup?

I became involved by proposing the initial idea to bring J. Cole to Adrian Zelski (co-owner of New Earth Music Hall). I know J. Cole personally and actually have been talking to him and his team about coming to Athens since I saw him in Boston last summer while he was on tour. From then on we all started a little hip hop caucus around this show and a few others (316 Connection and H.E.R. Hip Hop Showcase) to build the buzz around all the hip Hop shows going on at New Earth. J. Cole may be the biggest. The success of this show is extremely important to me. I'm pretty familiar with everyone. I've heard a lot of good things and I'm excited to see them smash.

Great music always comes out of Athens. Describe the Athens music scene.

[Sigh] Ok, Athens for the most part is dominated by indie rock, pop, alternative or metal bands. That’s the bread maker around here. Sometimes I think of going the rock route. [laughs] If it’s hip hop or rap, it'll have to be a Soulja Boy or Gucci Mane to actually see cats come out in the masses. The hip hop scene as a whole is doing much better than when I was a freshman at UGA back in 2006-07, but from what I heard from folks before me, the scene was even more authentic and appreciated before I came. Hip hop was valued. Now, things may appear cool and thriving on the hip hop scene here to everyone else outside of Athens, but the Hip Hop community is struggling to stay alive. Folks are not coming out to support [good music] so it is what it is.

Read full interview at Miss Solow Dolow.

$10-$20. 9 p.m. Fri., April 16. New Earth Music Hall, 227 W Dougherty St, Athens, Ga. 706.543.8283.

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