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Saturday, March 2
The Indiana Daily Student

arts

Hip hop to make appearance at Blockhouse

Thomas Frick, stage name Fricktion, is a rapper. He is going to perform Friday at the Blockhouse.

Inside a dimly lit office on East Atwater Avenue, 26-year-old Thomas Frick spends his days proofreading for the Journal of American History, he said.

But once or twice a month, he’ll drop half his name and become Fricktion, a local rapper.

Fricktion will perform Friday at “Hip-Hop: Alive + Well,” a showcase for hip hop artists at the Blockhouse. The show will feature performances by hip hop artists from Bloomington and Indianapolis.

Aside from Fricktion, D-ROCKOLIS, Sonny Paradise, R-Juna, IRIS and Sirius Black are set to perform.

Frick looks forward to seeing how an audience will respond to the lineup, since hip hop events seem to be scarce in Bloomington, 
he said.

“I think hip hop is disproportionately underrepresented in this town for how big the music scene is,” he said.

Show organizer Will Marlowe said there’s a definite audience for hip hop in Bloomington, but it often lacks IU students. He said he wants to improve promotion of events like this so students can bring a youthful energy to the scene.

“Half of the population of Bloomington, at any given time, is just kind of unaware, I think,” he said.

Marlowe pointed to 2012 as an example, when rapper Killer Mike performed at Rhinos All Ages Club. He said the show was incredible — one of the best he’s ever seen in Bloomington — but the crowd was small and barely contained any college students.

“I couldn’t believe there were only 50 people there,” he said.

Frick said the identity of Bloomington as an indie rock and folk music city plays a large role in the underground nature of its hip hop scene.

“People don’t think of Bloomington as a hip hop town,” he said.

Still, Frick said the genre is starting to gain a foothold.

“I get the feel in the last couple years the scene’s been building,” he said.

Marlowe said he chalked this up to the fact hip hop has permeated the mainstream zeitgeist in recent years. Excitement is growing at the global level as well as the local, he said.

“Everybody’s super charged, and that goes right down to the underground artists that are here locally,” Marlowe said. “Everyone’s got a battery in their back.”

He said he hopes to use this Blockhouse show to build momentum so he can organize events like it on a monthly basis.

“There will definitely be some more in the future,” 
he said.

As for tonight, both Marlowe and Frick said they expect to see a lot of energy from the crowd and performers alike.

“You know, hip hop’s a lot about being in the moment, being energetic,” Marlowe said. “I can tell you it’s going to be a hell of a time.”

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