Hip-Hop Weekend Hits St. Mary's

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The second-annual Battle for Best Rapper and Beat Boxer on campus began at 8p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Grind. The battle started off Hip-Hop weekend: a four-day celebration of all things related to Hip-Hop culture and the music of the genre.

The Grind was packed with hip-hop enthusiasts, as the stage was set up the performances. Junior Anuli Duru and Sophomore Katina Burley hosted the event. In first-year Alia Abadir’s opinion, the show “was really good, much better than I thought it was going to be.”

The rules were that each person or group would perform once and then whoever wanted to battle another performer could call them out. After each performer presented their pieces, the audience decided the champions of the rapping and beat boxing portions by the loudness of their clapping and cheering when each performer was reintroduced in front. The beat boxing champion, Junior Josh Stine, said, “I thought it was most excellent and that we should keep it up every year.” Performers included around ten students who showed us how to lay down a serious beat and showcased the various styles in rap.

On Friday, there was a graffiti workshop led by Duru around the early afternoon. She showed the participants how to express themselves artistically with spray paint. Their work was then displayed over the weekend on the Campus Center Patio.

One of two main events during Hip-Hop week was the concert in the Upper Deck by rapper Le1f. Although he was delayed in arriving, it didn’t deter the crowd of people that showed up for a good time. When Le1f finally arrived, he immediately began the show and was met with an enthusiastic cheering. At first, Le1f and his two dancers wore camouflage veils over the faces but as the concert progressed they discarded them. One of most memorable parts of the night was when Le1f’s dancers went out into the audience and doused them with a spray of water. The concert lasted for about an hour and a half, much to the disappointment of Le1f’s fans but the crowd of rap fans enjoyed it overall.

The closing event of Hip-Hop week was a VOGUE workshop with Ninja Jonii Thomas of the House of Ninja/Revlon in Daugherty-Palmer Commons. Voguing is a dance method that began in the 1960s and gained momentum through the 1980s-2000s. It is a modern house dance that evolved from the ballroom scene and is popular in clubs in big cities across America. The workshop taught  how to do this iconic dance to end another successful Hip-Hop Weekend.

“Hip-Hop weekend was a success. Josh Santangelo and I worked very hard to create this event and we wanted it to be big,” said Duru. “I am still amazed at the great response from the students and how much they loved it and wanted to parcipate. I am even more amazed by the talents that our students possess.”

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