While there is plenty of music this Canada Day, Calgarians looking to take in some of Calgary’s best hip-hop really only have one place to go.
The Summer’s Night hip hop and R&B festival, being held on July 1 at ContainR, is featuring seven local artists along with five from the U.S.
Those artists include Westside Boogie from Compton, Deante’ Hitchcock from Atlanta, and Dappa from Philidelphia.
The goal, said Keep the Grind Records President Josh Horsneth, is to showcase a musical genre not typically thought of as being Calgarian—along with giving people a great night of entertainment.
“The thing about Calgary is there’s not a lot of hip-hop events here. Everybody’s excited to come to this part of the world, and see what they’ve got going on,” he said.
He said that one of the things that a festival like the Summer’s Night is doing is fighting against the stereotypes that have built up around hip hop.
“We just want to show you that it’s it’s a bit of everything, and it’s not just a place where you can let off some energy but also feel something too,” Horsneth said.
Changing perceptions one beat at a time
Local artist Hart, who will be performing during the festival, said that hip-hop has a reputation for glorifying violence, but that couldn’t be more wrong.
“I mean, hip-hop being something that came from struggle and diverting away from violence, away from problems,” he said.
“I definitely think you’re going to be surprised with the diversity of artistry at this festival and the passion behind the artistry at this festival.”
Hart said that his own hip-hop style was influenced by soul music, from such legendary acts as Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, and Boyz II Men.
“I try to really captivate so I’m looking forward to seeing everybody there,” he said.
The festival will also be the homecoming of Tinywiings, who moved to Vancouver for the larger hip-hop scene in that city.
“There’s something to be said about coming home after being away, and I think that a lot of people feel they have to leave Calgary to make it big,” she said.
“But there is just so much talent in this city. And hip-hop wise, there are so many hip-hop fans, and there is a lot of hip-hop music and artists.”
She said that she hopes her performance on Canada Day speaks directly to women hip-hop fans, with lyrics and energy especially for them.
The full lineup of artists and ticket sales are available at www.keepthegrind.ca.