On Feb. 7, the Hip Hop Summit took place in various buildings on campus in collaboration with Concordia’s Hip Hop Congress and Intercultural Affairs. The day started with a panel discussion at 1 p.m. with other members of the Midwest hip hop community. There were also three workshops held at two different times during the day: dj’ing, writing raps, and breakdancing. The night ended with performances from Trey Lane and V, MeandYou Crew, Soulcrate and The Crest, an MC battle, and a breakdancing performance.
The Hip Hop Summit started a couple years ago through Intercultural Affairs, according to sophomore Natalie Barnes, and it has progressed since then. Last year they started to be an official campus organization. Now they are recognized as a Hip Hop Congress chapter within the national spectrum of Hip Hop Congress, The group is the only active chapter within this area which is why they host the summit.
Rapper Trey Lane contacted Concordia and mentioned perhaps wanting to do a show.
“They gave us a job and we got an opportunity,” Trey said. “It was our first time doing hip hop in Minnesota at that time. This was our first time being at Concordia, and hopefully we’ll come back again. They’ve treated us very well.”
Kipp Gabriel from MeandYou Crew has been involved in the hip hop scene for the last seven years by booking independent hip hop shows in Fargo.
“The whole energy of the [summit] had a really open feel, like a community thing, bringing people together,” he said. “In my ideals of throwing shows, that’s what I shoot for.”
Wes Eisenhauer from the group Soulcrate also agreed the summit as a very fun event.
“It was a great time,” he said. “I think the fact that the school puts on a free event like that is a good thing for everyone involved. People were very energetic and supportive.”
Fellow Soulcrate member Dan Eisenhauer concurred.
“It was fun. Everyone was amazing and responsive to the music,” he said. “I loved it. No college does that in my city and it bums me out.”
Trey said his favorite aspect of the Hip Hop Summit was the first event of the day.
“Performance is always fun, but I really liked the panel discussion,” Trey said. “You got to hear a lot of people’s opinions. We got to express ourselves in a way that not a lot of other artists can.”
Another one of the performers really enjoyed his time here at Concordia.
“This is something I didn’t expect from a school like Concordia,” rapper V said. “It was more pleasant when I saw more people there that were energized. Even at a campus where academics are held high, people can still love hip hop too. I was excited and impressed.”
The main focus of the summit is education about hip hop, according to Barnes. Advertising around campus got started later than usual, but that didn’t stop the summit from being a success.
“We didn’t get much going beforehand, but with this big push the two weeks beforehand, it’s been effective,” Barnes said. “It’s been snowballing in everyone’s faces. We have an event for it on Facebook which has 200 confirmed guests and 400 maybes. Facebook is a good way to get the word out.”
Another portion of the Hip Hop Summit V really enjoyed was the workshop on writing raps.
“We had young kids in there,” he said. “We got to show them how to link metaphors and similes that are in their schooling that they may not be interested in, but they have an interest in hip hop. We drew a link between education and hip hop, which I think is very important.”
V only had one suggestion for how to make the summit even more successful in the future.
“This could grow to be even more educational and involve more people and make it a weekend,” V said. “Concordia is a trail blazer. They had the initiative and the hard work. Natalie put in so many hours, and she didn’t have to do that. When people do it out of the love, it’s extremely impressive.”
Barnes believes the performance at the end of the Summit may be different than what people would expect from a typical concert, but in a good way.
“It’s not a concert where you go and sit in the chair and watch,” Barnes said.
“You can literally touch the artists from the stage, and they’ll talk to you afterwards. They’re there the whole day. It’s not like ‘you mean nothing to me.’ You can go right up to the artists and talk to them and they’re so personal.”
I’m a senior at Concordia graduating in May with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. Journalism is my life and my passion, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.