Yo so ask anybody that pays close attention. They'll all say the same thing. The Tucson Hip Hop scene is Doooope! With a capital D. Artists - they got them. Shows - check. And since I've been following there's hardly ever a week, if ever, that some dope show isn't happening. Plus because it's a smaller scene, it's more connected and anybody that follows us knows we got mad respect for connected communities.
As with any festival, I will be digging into the artists discographies to learn more about them. Until then, here are 8 shows we're excited to see on February 25.
Lando Chill, originally from Chicago, but now residing in Tucson just makes good music. It's passionate, emotive, and genuine. His 2016 album, For Mark, Your Son was reviewed by Pitchfork and was a truly excellent work of art dedicated to a father he never knew. I got to witness his Rap Van show first hand, which was freaking amazing. So I expect his show at the fest to be the same.
Black One is a force of nature. It seems he's always creating something - music, videos, written pieces, and conversations. He has multiple projects being released this year - one an album and the other a multi-media project. I have yet to experience that energy live on stage and this homecoming will be something to witness, I'm sure. He's created so many things in Tucson in his years as an artist that this should be his moment to shine.
Squad Deep rappers Aeon and Zolo may be one of Tucson's best kept secrets. In 2016, they released the #Deeptape tape and a collective effort with AZMP and H.P. entitled nimbuswav. Then they start 2017 by releasing the track Canopy Dreams. Squad Deep is another example of the type of artist Tucson has - they utilize today's sound, especially on their songs with trap beats, but they make it all their own.
Rubix is the lovechild of 80's metal/pop and Emanon. He makes fun, sing-along music and from what I heard it's influenced by rap but not quite rap music. Again, Tucson artist aren't trying to fit in as much as their trying to be unique. And when it's good, like here, it's really freaking good.
I saw Freqz at a Beat Lab show. They break necks with beats. I will never again miss them if I can help it. Just believe me.
I like Cash Lansky, I really do. But I have to admit, I'm excited for his live show on the basis of one Youtube video. And my enjoyment of said video is equal parts Cash Lansky looking and sounding cool as fuck but also Ripdee hitting the cymbals live in the background while dropping the dropping the beat. I'm talking the You Know It (Live Version) video. If you haven't seen it, go check and then plan to rock out and clap with me to that track.
Woodro makes super thoughtful music as a sophomore in high school. He's only going to get better. And the crazy thing is he's making pretty good music right now. Go check Living Lost and lament on the thought that he was only 16 when he made that track. Because Tucson is so far away from Phoenix (and my general, past disgust for the city) I don't make it down to many shows even though Woodro's always hitting me up when he performs (damn youthful energy - dude's tireless in his work ethic). So this is a can't miss show for me. I'm really curious to see if the complete package is there for this young artist.
Doni barely started making music a couple years ago. I would say his sound is progressing as he's working through the learning curve. When he's on though he makes fun music. Example - Mad Greens. It's a bouncy track where Doni gets to flex his unique rhyme style. He's another dude though who's working hard and if he's anything on stage like he is with his work ethic, then we're all in for a treat.
Artists announced thus far (EDIT: an earlier version said full lineup, which was inaccurate):