So far, Edmonton’s urban music community has raised 9502 lbs of food for the Food Bank. With the drive now in its 12th year, Hip Hop for Hunger organizer Marlon Wilson hopes to break the 10 000 lb mark—which means collecting another 1500 lbs. Prior to the event, which features the Jaide, Doom Squad, K-Blitz the Liberators and headliner Rellik, Wilson answered a few questions via email.
Vue Weekly: What do this year’s performers represent in terms of hip hop in Edmonton and where it’s headed?
Marlon Wilson: This year’s Hip Hop For Hunger performers represent the talent and diversity of hip hop in Edmonton. In selecting artists to showcase we always look at acts that have had a strong year, but also acts that will put on a good show. Raising food donations is without a doubt our primary goal, but our secondary goal is to showcase the best in Edmonton hip hop.
In terms of what the performers represent for the future of Edmonton hip hop, well, three of the acts were part of last year’s cipher and this year they are showcasing, so there is definitely something to be said about their talents and work ethic. These artists represent a new generation that is creating great music and using the technology at their fingertips to introduce and share it with the world, all the while waving their YEG flag.
VW: Why is it important for you to bridge the generational gap of Edmonton hip hop? How will having the two rap ciphers accomplish that?
MW: With Hip Hop For Hunger growing to see 12 years, it has lived to see a whole new generation of Edmonton hip-hop performers and fans—fans that will be in attendance on December 21. So to ensure the continuance of this showcase for years to come we have to bridge the gap. This is the longest-running annual hip-hop event in Edmonton, and in 20 years from now we should still be bridging the gap to ensure that the younger generation can learn from those who came before them, but also prepare them to take the reins.
Last year, we only had freshmen ciphers, which was great for introducing the artists to watch out for. But there are hip-hop emcees in Edmonton that we consider veterans who are still releasing critically acclaimed music, touring and have strong followings and they deserve to be showcased as well. Hopefully we are facilitating an environment that can lead to the vets and young guns of the Edmonton hip-hop community sharing and learning from each other.
VW: What made Rellik the best choice to headline? How does he reflect what Hip Hop for Hunger is all about?
MW: Rellik has had an amazing year and he is a veteran that understands how to rock a crowd. Plus he will be backed by his band the Dirty Boots which will take things to another level, so it was kind of a no-brainer. Rellik is a pioneer in Edmonton who has done so much for the city both through his artistic achievements and willingness to educate artists and provide them with opportunities.
Sat, Dec 21 (9 pm)
Pawnshop, $10 (advance), $12 (with food item), $15 (no food item)