For the third year in a row, CrucialFest returns to Salt Lake City, with nearly 70 local and regional metal, punk and hardcore artists performing at 12 different venues for four straight days, June 26-29. And this year, for the first time ever, CrucialFest will include a hip-hop showcase.
This may seem strange to metalheads, but Jarom Bischoff, who founded CrucialFest, is also a big fan of rap music. “I wanted to extend an olive branch to the local hip-hop community and possibly eventually sign a hip-hop artist to my label,” says Bischoff, who also founded Exigent Records.
Bischoff feels that this is the year Utah rap is ready to join the lineup. “People like rap, we all listen to hip-hop, and so I wanted to show a lot of these rock fans that quality hip-hop is here in Salt Lake.” To help break down some of these quality local hip-hop acts, DJ Planit, of 90.9 KRCL’s Friday Night Fallout Show (Friday nights at 10:30 p.m.), and I yammered about what makes these rappers worthy to grace the stages of CrucialFest.
Wolf: New Truth is a young, heavily slept-on group from West Valley City. Rapper Marcus Agee originally hails from Mississippi, and when you combine his smooth, Dirty South-style storytelling with Milo Green’s creative, 808-heavy production, you get a fresh sound not typically heard here in Utah.
Planit: I first got introduced to New Truth at MakeMind’s 420 Elevated Minds Festival back in April of this year. I dig their Southern-like boom bap sound; kind of reminds me of Outkast’s ATLiens. Plus, on top of their quality hip-hop, these guys are humble.
HURRIS & GIG
Wolf: Emcees Hurris & Gig have a fast-paced, rich delivery, and they fill every bar with as much wordplay as possible. It’s impressive, really. But the thing I like the most about this crew is their producer, Mason Brewer. Not to take anything away from Hurris & Gig, but even I could sound good rapping over his squeaky-clean, sample-heavy beats. Check out tracks “Like a Gun” or “Ham ’n’ Eggs” to see what I’m talking about.
Planit: I had the opportunity to see this duo perform a while back when I was DJing for DopeThought at Kilby Court. At first I was like, honestly, who are these kats—especially the white boy with the dreads. Then the beat drops. I’m a sucker for head-nodding boom bap and soul samples.
Wolf: I always appreciate rappers who can make fun of themselves, mostly because this genre is packed with way too much braggadocio. But Scott Knopf, aka Atheist, comes across as a dude who just doesn’t care. I’ve heard him compare himself to Cory from Boy Meets World—rappers aren’t supposed to do that. In a way, he sorta sounds like a funnier, less-pissed-off Sage Francis.
Planit: Don’t let this dude’s Bob Ross ’fro fool you—he is funny and talented. I first caught notice of Atheist in my good friend syncroNICE’s battle league, Mic Masters. Check out his free LP, Thanks for the Burgers. A song I dig and play regularly on the Fallout Show is “My Parents’ Vinyl,” produced by Ville Age’s Yung Rip.
CRUCIALFEST 2013 HIP-HOP SHOWCASE
w/Broken Silence, Are.Oh!Why?, Sam
at Bar Deluxe
666 S. State
Friday, June 28, 8 p.m.