I was fortunate to be at the Hip-Hop edition of The Unheard Event on Sunday, 20th of August 2023. It was worth my time, despite slight issues that were compensated by the overall experience.
The event slated for 2 pm did not kick off until 5-ish or 6-ish pm. I was there with friends I had invited since 2:30 pm, so we had to hang out, drink, and gist until the whole thing started. Our early arrival and the lateness in kicking off the show led to us leaving before the main event; the performance of Oga Boss himself, IllBliss.
My goal for attending was to mingle with the community and put a face to Rhyme & Reason® brand. In hip-hop, you earn your strides and stripes, they are never given; in other words, street cred. We’ve seen it over and over again; the most loved emcees and femcees paid their dues by being original, not kissing ass, and keeping it real.
The R&R® brand has been quietly growing since January 2021, and every interview, praise, and shout-out was never paid for, just earned. It was great going out there to see that even those whose steps and achievements we look up to recognise our effort. I digress.
Being an introverted/anti-social human, I had to summon ancestral courage to walk up to total strangers and introduce myself, and I’m glad I did just that. Their reactions answered two questions that have continued to bug me since we completed our first 12 months in existence;
- Are we doing the right thing?
- Are we reaching the right people?
Both creatives and industry executives were all glad to meet a face from the brand, and they all shared words of encouragement and praises for a job well done. Even while I am seated at my desk writing this particular piece, imposter syndrome still wan finish me.
Back to The Unheard Event
Once the event kicked off, it was golden. BigfootinURface was in his zone on the turntable, and the energy behind the performances was infectious. Mxna’s performance introduced me to a very rough grimy sound still in its infancy with the potential to take a place on the world stage.
The love shared amongst the attendees – hip-hop heads, creatives, and industry executives was a sight to behold. The venue levelled the playing field; class, achievements, beliefs, and loyalty leanings did not matter. We just came to have a good time for a culture that has changed our lives in one way or another.
Special shout-out to A-Q, Paybac, Excel, Motolani, Chuka Obi, DayGenious (for the clean pixels), Dabu the Gemini, Boogey, Barzini, BigfootinURface, Elveektor, Tellz Ikima, Shakezbaba, Mxna, Tochi (the hungry A&R), PDSTRN (AJE!), IllBliss, and the waitress that would have shown me where to go wash plates.
Hope to see you guys outside again.