Starting a Hip-Hop Dialogue

Rap Democracy II is Hits Concordia Friday

  • Producer Dirt Work is one of the panelists at Friday’s event.

  • Markings will host, alongside the Narcicyst.

  • MC and video producer Full Course will speak at the event.

For any hip-hop enthusiast who’s curious about the inner workings of a local music scene, Slang Rap Democracy II: Deciphering the Cypher offers a more academically-focused look into Montreal’s hip-hop community.

The event, taking place this Friday, is a public lecture featuring local MCs, beat makers and producers, who will discuss the issues that affect the local scene, which has been going through a rebirth over the last year.

The first Slang Rap Democracy public lecture took place in February, and while this week’s event is similar, the guest artists it features are different. This week’s event is focused on showcasing local beat makers.

The event is organized by students from a Concordia Fine Arts course called Hip Hop: Past, Present, and Future. Not just another boring music history course, the students are required to think critically about hip-hop culture.

“The course explores the history of hip-hop, not just as a musical form, but also looks at the social conditions through which it was formed,” said student Sarah Stupar, who helped organize Friday’s event.

Yassin Alsalman, whose rap alias is The Narcicyst, will host alongside Mario Fuentes, who goes by the stage name Markings. Other artists included on the panel are: MC and video producer Full Course, producers Nik Brovkin and Dirt Work, and radio DJ Don Smooth from K103.7 FM. Also included on the panel is documentarian Aïsha Cariotte Vertus, whose film Piu Piu examines Montreal beat culture.

“All the people on the panel are involved in the hip-hop scene in Montreal, and it’s an opportunity for them to come together and talk with the community about their process, what they do, and to build bridges to get people working together,” said Stupar.

“The aim is to give more recognition to hip-hop in Montreal.”

The original Slang Rap Democracy public lecture was organized as an attempt to help rebuild the Montreal hip-hop community after local promoter, talent manager, and founder of EscapeMTL, Matt ‘Dutch’ Garner was murdered in November 2011.

“He was a major fixture in the Montreal hip-hop scene, and he gave a lot of people their start,” said Stupar.

“After his death, the community kind of fell apart, and the event was meant to start the rebuilding process.”

Slang Rap Democracy II: Deciphering the Cypher at Concordia University Hall Building H-110 (1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd.) / Nov. 23 / 7:00 p.m. / Free More info

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