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Sunday, June 16
The Indiana Daily Student

arts

Hip-hop to get attention

Little 500 is done, and gone are the concerts and events that fill the week leading to the race.\nBut that doesn't mean campus will be dead this week.\nFollowing a week with performances by hip-hop artists Nelly and Jurassic 5, the IU chapter of The Hip Hop Congress will host a hip-hop awareness festival today in Dunn Meadow.\nThe festival, which runs from noon to 2 p.m., features a variety of events. It will continue with a 9 p.m. show at Vertigo, 107 W. Ninth St. The evening show costs $6, or $5 with a canned food item.\nJunior Ron Gubitz, one of the founders of The Hip Hop Congress, said the afternoon portion of the festival will feature the four aspects of hip-hop -- the breakdancer, grafitti artist, MC and DJ.\nWhile the afternoon session will feature those connected with The Hip Hop Congress, the events at Vertigo will feature local talent not connected with the organization.\nThe evening will begin with an MC battle and conclude with performances by local hip-hop group Holistic and local band Danagas.\nGubitz said six MCs are slated to perform in the MC battle, and he plans to have 10 by the time of the show. He also plans to get another 10 MCs from the crowd.\nThe top three finishers in the battle will receive one-song contracts with Littlestar Records, which works with the Hollywood-based rappsearch.com, a national organization in search of hip-hop talent. Tom Boyd, vice president of rappsearch.com, said each of the top three finishers also receives a trophy and a "beats-to-rap-to" CD.\nThe first-place winner will also attend a regional competition and, if he or she wins it, a final national contest in December. Boyd said the contests usually uncover good talent.\n"I just finished a show in Kentucky," he said. "I've never really equated Kentucky with rap, and it was some of the best talent I've heard yet. And there's no cussing or swearing. It's all positive. There's enough negativity in rap already."\nJunior Nate Ayers, who was in charge of coordinating the two acts at the evening portion of the festival, said the purpose of the festival is to counter that negative vibe.\n"I guess (we're) just trying to invigorate the local hip-hop scene here in Bloomington," he said. "Hip-hop is here and it's for real. We have to start appreciating this art form.\n"And also the myth the media creates about the violence really isn't the case. There's a positive message in hip-hop. We've just got to grab it and write it."\nAlthough The Hip Hop Congress represents hip-hop, Gubitz said it also represents community involvement.\nGubitz said about 15-20 local organizations will be represented at the festival. The organizations will use the festival as a forum to create awareness for their causes.\n"The main thing we're trying to do is create awareness about the different opportunities there are in Bloomington to become active, whether that's with the organizations, with hip-hop or just active in any way," Gubitz said. "We just want to get people interacting, breaking down barriers."\nThe Hip Hop Congress began its quest to break barriers last year, when Gubitz and Jordan Bronley founded the organization in California. Two men had started a similar organization with the same name and saw Gubitz and Bronley's Web site.\nThe four joined their organizations to form The Hip Hop Congress, and the group is represented at several locations on the west and east coasts, as well as at IU.\nGubitz said the IU chapter of The Hip Hop Congress has been planning today's awareness festival since second semester began, and a group of about 50 people has been working to put the festival together.\nFor more information on The Hip Hop Congress or the Hip Hop Awareness Festival, visit www.hiphopcongress.com or contact Ron Gubitz at ron@hiphopcongress.com.

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