Claiming Space: Two artists from war-torn countries find a place and a voice in Minnesota through music

I have a friendly neighbor/she wanna be my savior/her daddy always warns her about my family’s behavior/she wonders ‘bout my flavor/those chocolate coated layers” Dua Saleh sings on their 2019 single “Sugar Mama.” Their voice sluices through the verses, and you too will find yourself with that the uneasy feeling in your stomach is actually … [ Read more]

Ladies First: How Desdamona and Maria Isa set the stage for women in Minnesota’s hip-hop scene

  Rapper and spoken word artist Desdamona has shared stages with Wyclef Jean, Bahamadia, and Saul Williams. But when she first moved to the Twin Cities in 1995, she couldn’t find anyone to give her the opportunity to perform. “When I tried to get into the hip-hop scene, it was very difficult,” said Desdamona. “There … [ Read more]

Feelin’ Nur-D: The Minneapolis rapper blending geek culture, activism, and pro wrestling to keep MN hip-hop weird

If you ask Matt Allen, known on stage as hip-hop artist Nur-D, how he’d describe himself, he would tell you that he is weird, your seventh favorite hip-hop person, and then declare himself a nerd. Vocal about his love for comics, professional wrestling, video games, ’80s hair metal bands, and superheroes, Nur-D creates his music … [ Read more]

The Past, Present, and Future of Minnesota Hip-Hop: Part 2

Four local artists on collaboration, creative barriers, and the future of rap in the North Star State This is part two of a two-part conversation with three up-and-coming Minnesota-based hip-hop artists—Kamilla Love, booboo, and Student 1—and Medium Zach, an artist with two decades of experience, about Minnesota’s hip-hop scene. Read Part 1 here. I’m Sean … [ Read more]

The Past, Present, and Future of Minnesota Hip-Hop: Part 1

Four local artists discuss collaboration, creative barriers, and the future of rap in the North Star State I’m Sean McPherson and I’ve been playing bass in Twin Cities hip-hop groups for 20+ years now. I went to St. Paul Central, and I started a band that’s still active today called Heiruspecs, and I met a … [ Read more]

Soundset brings Twin Cities hip-hop to the national stage

For 11 years, Minnesota has been home to what is now considered one of the premiere hip-hop festivals in the country. With local record label Rhymesayers Entertainment at the helm, Soundset has grown from a word-of-mouth block party to a marquee music festival over the years as it’s traveled from the old Metrodome parking lot … [ Read more]

Soundset through the eyes of local up-and-coming hip-hopper Dwynell Roland

  As Minnesotans, we are fortunate enough to host one of hip hop’s marquee events every Memorial Day weekend. As a member of the Minnesota hip-hop community, I’ve watched Soundset grow from a low-key, local affair in the Metrodome parking lot to the large-scale, multifaceted production that it has become today, and that growth is … [ Read more]

Soundset announces lineup for 2017 festival

Rhymesayers Entertainment’s Soundset Festival is now the largest one-day hip-hop festival in the world. Today, festival organizers announced the lineup for the festival’s 10th year, which is returning to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on May 28th, the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. In addition to the 10 hours of diverse hip-hop music, the event will have a lineup of over … [ Read more]

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