Submitted by Melissa Howsam — Correspondent
Back at it, local hip-hop star-tists The Real Laww and Professor Toon have given us a reason to say Hip-Hop Hooray with a "hip-hop parade" of artists through a monthly concert series every Third Friday in Durham leading up to the ever-popular ("bigger and better") third annual DURM Hip-Hop Summit on Aug. 16.
The mini summits launch Friday at Devine's and will feature a local artist, Kourviosier, plus an out-of-towner, Joe Crush. And, of course, the Summit's founders Toon & Laww will perform. "We are extremely excited to have Kourviosier and Joe Crush to kick off the concert series," says Jay Lawrence, also known as The Real Laww. "Both artists are amazing with word play, stage presents and commanding the crowd, which is what you can expect with the months to come for the DURM Hip-Hop Summit concerts and The DURM Hip-Hop Summit itself!"
The mini summits will include a range of summit-style events across each concert. Think producer battles, freestyle battles, DJ spin-offs, graffiti and break-dancers outside (weather permitting). With the battles, "we'll see who is the King of the mic, sound and needles!!" says Laww. "Graffiti defines the art pillar of hip-hop, visually bringing to life what was said by an emcee or cuts and scratch remixed by the DJ. Last year we had Vanilla Gorilla of WOEM create a huge DURM Hip-Hop Summit mural. This year we're doing the same thing; adding on more of the interpretation of the music."
Describing Kourviosier as a "dope lyricist" who can "ride the hell out of the awesome production by his beat-maker Dre Rubio," and Joe Crush as a "very left field, hard-hitting" artist with "catchy lyrics that you wouldn't expect ... original yet relevant" Laww and Toon are excited to continue spreading the local love, while also bringing breadth to the scene by adding an out-of-town guest artist element.
"I would like to expose [Durham] to hip-hop that branches out further than the Triangle while also creating networks and bridges to other cities to where our artists can go rock out in their city as well," Laww says. "In this process, [Durham] can be the hub of all these creatives in indie hip-hop, at least on the East Coast ... then the world!"
Clearly the appetite exists. With the mini summits ramping up to the best Summit yet, Durham's hip-hop scene seems hotter than ever. And, to whet your appetite more, that hip-hop parade ... well, it leads to the ultimate (literal) hip-hop parade at the August Summit. "Yes! This year we'll be adding a parade to the DURM Hip-Hop Summit! Including high school and college marching bands, and we're reaching out to the community to get involved in this as well," Laww says. "So if you would like to create a float and want to show off your creative skills get in contact with us!"
Oh, and block party, anyone? This year's Summit will take over a block of Rigsbee (between Corporation and Geer) for the ultimate block party. Until then, there are plenty of mini summits to keep you on your feet. See? Hip-Hop Hooray.