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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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A Wish List For CT's Hip-Hop Scene
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

With 2011 just getting started it’s a good time to take a look at what our hip-hop scene needs to accomplish this year to build towards becoming nationally known. With that goal in mind, I’ve put together a list of the 11 things I want to see happen for Connecticut’s hip-hop scene in 2011 (and man am I glad it’s not 2019, because that would make for a very long column).

* I’d like to see our emcees and DJs travel out of state more. We’re already off to a good start as Sketch Tha Cataclysm is consistently performing in NYC, godAWFUL is taking a year to tour the country, and DJ Halo is spinning in Europe for the remainder of the month. It seems very common sense to say, but it needs to be reiterated, if we’re going to become known outside of the state we have to perform outside of the state.

* We need to attend the shows of artists who stop in CT for a tour date. Connecticut can be an easy state to ignore for touring artists if they’re not booking Toad’s. For many it can be a much needed day of rest in-between preforming in NYC and MA. This is why it’s so important to attend the shows that do get booked here. Artists talk, and if we develop a reputation as a state that loves hip-hop that word is going to spread quickly and it will be great for everyone involved.

* Our emcees need to collaborate more, and not just musically, but in sharing information. We have a lot of smart artists who know a lot of different things about creating music and getting it to people. Combine all that knowledge and something much bigger could be happening here.

* We also need our artists to collaborate with artists outside of the state. A guest spot on another artist’s album is a great way to be heard outside of CT that doesn’t require any travel fares.

* The creation of an identity is something we fight for every year. Right now a lot of CT hip-hop artists are following either the underground, or mainstream, format. While many of those artists sound good, we’ll never have our own identity if we don’t have an artist or two break the mold and create a Connecticut sound.

* The words “local” and “showcase” need to be eliminated from all flyers and show titles. Both have horrible connotations at this point and drive people away from the very things we want them to embrace. Just tell people you’re putting on a show and give them the lineup of artists. Naming the show, if it’s a monthly event, would also be a big step in the right direction, as it gives people something to remember and can create repeat attendance.

* All beefs need to be squashed, whether they’re with artists, producers, or just random people in the scene. We are not big enough to have inner issues. They just make it look like our eyes aren’t on a prize any bigger than local fame.

* We could really use a website or three dedicated to the promotion of CT hip-hop. We’ve had a few in the past, but they’ve mostly been message board based sites that didn’t feature any real content. We need dedicated sites that will help expose our talent.

* Our emcees need to start making more music videos. Yes, I realize MTV and BET aren’t calling, but YouTube and Vimeo are. People are discovering music via those sites more than anywhere else at this point. A few good music videos will also help spread the word of CT hip-hop far beyond our state’s borders because if the video is good enough bloggers everywhere will pick it up.

* Our artists need to bring their work to younger audiences. d_Cyphernauts do a great job of bringing hip-hop to the younger generation through their annual AFA Hip-Hop Summit at Westhill High School in Stamford, but we need more artists following suit. Hip-hop is a youth oriented culture. How can you expect to get anywhere performing to 30 year olds?

* Last, but certainly not least, we need the fans of hip-hop to be consumers of hip-hop. That means shelling out the $5 to see a show, or buying a CD from an artist you really like. Art is a valuable resource and we’re getting some great art from our local emcees at asking prices that are incredibly low considering what they’re providing us as listeners. We need to show them some support.

Story originally ran in the FairfieldWeekly.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:27 AM  
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