Editor’s Note: Over the weekend in Cambridge (July 27), one single event had two mindsets. The Leedz Hip-Hop Fest 2019 took over The Middle East in Central Square, celebrating both the 15th anniversary of booking house and promoter Leedz Edutainment, and also looking ahead as a pivot on how hip-hop could evolve over time. Felicia Pinckney was in the room on behalf of Vanyaland capturing photos of the performances — including STL GLD, Jefe Replay (who performed while getting tattooed on stage), Jarv, Dutch ReBelle, Justin Clancy, Apathy, The Dunnas, Problemattik — and asking the artists what they’d like to accomplish over the next 15 years if there were no financial or structural obstacles in the way. Check their responses below, and scan through Pinckney’s full gallery after the jump.
Oak Lonetree of The Dunnas: “I’d like to have a show that focuses on bringing hip-hop artists and musicians together around food.” [Born Peter Smerlas, he recently participated in the cooking show Worst Cooks in America.]
Justin Clancy: “I just want to be happy, people think that you can get all of these awards and money and be happy. You can have all of that and still be unhappy.”
Moe Pope of STL GLD: “Multimedia art in all platforms, work with philharmonic orchestras, more musical scores, work with graffiti artist to bring them into museums. I’d like to work to break down walls more in hip-hop… Hip-hop is everywhere in the world across the spectrum — there’s graffiti everywhere, break dancing everywhere and it’s so young; it really should be treated with more respect.”
Ned Wellbery of Leedz Edutainment: “I’d like to see musical infrastructure here in Boston from artists development and music labels. We are lacking strong infrastructure on the music business side of things. I also believe it’s important for not only Massachusetts to come together in the hip-hop community, it’s important that we unite as New Englanders the way we do with our sports teams. If we are supporting each other like that, we will have more artists actually make it in music from our area.”