While the BBC, SOUP and a number of other student organizations are very active in bringing musicians to campus, they’re mainly interested in somewhat “high-brow” popular music. Hip-Hop Congress is different. Founded earlier this year by junior Alex George, Lawrence’s chapter of HHC is an organization dedicated not only to bringing hip-hop acts to campus, but also to raising money for charity and promoting and assisting up and coming student hip-hop artists.
Hip-Hop Congress’s first chapter was founded in 2000 in a merging of two similar organizations each dedicated to promoting awareness of hip-hop culture in the United States and beyond. George heard about the organization from Lawrence alumnus and rapper Rich Jones and decided to start a chapter here on campus.
In the past year alone HHC put on a successful concert featuring the rapper Prof, raised $700 for charity, and has begun organizing an album of student hip hop in collaboration with Sol Studios. And to conclude this astonishing inaugural year, HHC is bringing one of the biggest up-and-comers in the business to campus — Freddie Gibbs.
After a relatively elaborate booking process that took a number of months, the contract was signed and the date was set for May 20. Yet, to further complicate an already tedious process, the administration, who had previously approved the date of the event, contacted George and asked him to move the event so as not to interfere with LU-aroo, which is scheduled to take place on the same evening. George hastily contacted Gibbs’ manager and agent, and was luckily able to move the show back a week to May 27. With the location set for Theatre House, the concert finally seems to be coming to fruition.
As for Alex George, he’s slightly upset with the administration for “dropping the ball” in terms of the concert’s scheduling, but he’s very excited to see Freddie Gibbs. “He’s probably my favorite rapper right now,” George said of Gibbs. “He’s a gangster rapper of sorts [but] he doesn’t glorify the streets — he tells it the way it is.”
After hearing about George’s success with the organization I found myself wondering, “Where can they go from here?” Yet George thinks the organization will really come into its own in the coming year. “We’ll have a real budget next year rather than having to get every event approved directly by the LUCC,” George said, adding, “We hope to have about an act a term and to host more fundraising events.”
Aside from hosting more events, HHC also plans to begin collaborating with Sol Studios in putting together a compilation of student rap and hip hop with hopes of bringing in rappers from across the Midwest to rap over beats from new Lawrence hip-hop acts.
So come out and celebrate the best of hip-hop music with HHC, Freddie Gibbs and likely a good part of the student body — May 27 in Theatre House.