Minnesota has had an active hip hop scene dating as far back as 1981. The year is now 2016 and Minnesota has a prominent hip hop scene loaded with tons of talented artists and on the verge of something big. In recent years major moves and activity has been happening some of which includes 3 new hip hop radio stations, one of the biggest Hip Hop Festivals (Soundset) selling out for multiple years, St Paul based rapper Allan Kingdom being nominated for 2 Grammy’s, and the Rhymesayers celebrating 20 years of success to a sold out Target Center.
One word to describe whats happening to Minnesota hip hop right now. Wow. This is the result of the tireless work ethic and hustle from all of the Minnesota based artists from Minneapolis and St. Paul all the way to Duluth and Red Lake. Props to each and every artist on the scene on that daily grind. Now lets take a step back and look at the scene just 17 years ago.
Back in 1999 a documentary film named “Minneapolis Massive” was produced that set out to document the thriving hip hop scene in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St Paul) of Minnesota. The filmmakers set out on a mission to cover the 4 elements of hip hop MCing, DJing, Graffiti, Breakdancing within the Minnesota scene.
This is a historical film and has some of Minnesota’s rap legends in their early years such as Slug of Atmosphere and other Rhymesayers members Musab, Eyedea (RIP) & Abilities, Los Nativos also Carnage The Executioner, Budah Tye, MC Unicus of Kanser, Heiruspecs, Abstract Pack and more. This film was produced by Phillips Community Television (PCTV) and Directed by John Skelton & John Gwinn.
In the film it goes undercover into some real graffiti sessions and examines the perspective of graffiti from both graffiti artists and the city of Minneapolis. You will see the likes of Sharon Sayles Belton (the first black and woman mayor of Minneapolis) and Amy Klobuchar speaking on graffiti. It features some graffiti art by artists Unik, WASP, KUSH, Just, Logik, Spel and more. You will also see An interview with Graffiti artist Lady Pink when working on a mural at Intermedia Arts. (http://www.intermediaarts.org/the-game-graffiti-art-at-intermedia1)
The film has a ton of great breakdancing footage with some of the best performances by breaking crew The Battlecats (http://first-avenue.com/performer/battlecats).
Some of the other film highlights are an intense rap battle with Slug and Budah Tye, great footage of the late Eyedea, footage of Los Nativos, Carnage The Executioner, and Heiruspecs rocking some crowds along with exclusive interviews with Slug and Musab.
Enjoy all of this hip hop good-ness!
Watch the full documentary here: