Lance Mitchell is organizing the "Southeast Rap Explosion" featuring Alaskan artists Chief, Trueyez, Bi-Polar and T-Bone.
Story last updated at 9/30/2009 - 11:34 am
JUNEAU - Ever since singer Lance Mitchell moved to Juneau from Los Angeles seven years ago, he has been impressed by the variety of musical talent he sees in Alaska.
"There are so many different types of talented people who are based right here in Southeast," Mitchell said.
To showcase some of this local talent, Mitchell is organizing a "Southeast Rap Explosion." The no-cover event will take place Saturday, Oct. 3 at 9 p.m. at Jaded bar in the Goldbelt hotel.
The event will feature emcees known as Chief (formerly of Northkut Wolfpack), Trueyez (also of Northkut Wolfpack) and Bi-Polar, with guest appearances from T-Bone and Dre. Chief, Trueyez and T-Bone are all from Southeast.
Most of the artists have worked with each other at one time or another. Mitchell said many of them know each other from recording together at Sam Hughes's studio in Lemon Creek. Each of the artists brings unique skills and styles to the group. For example, Chief (Jeremy Peterson) is a sound engineer who has "the technical knowledge as well as the versatility to lay down tracks at will," Mitchell said.
Bi-Polar, of Anchorage, is known for his musical versatility.
"He's someone who has one of most versatile styles I've heard," Mitchell said. "He's got all these different voices that he can do."
Guest performer Dre impressed Mitchell by his freestyling abilities.
"He's one of the best freestylers that I've ever seen," Mitchell said. "I was enthralled by the lyrics and beats that he laid down."
Sterling Bolima is Trueyez, also know as "the Tlingit poet." He is of the Teikweidí clan from Angoon, and the name "Teikweidí" often appears in his lyrics.
"I'll put 'Teikweidí' in and explain it so everyone will know what 'Teikweidí' is," Bolima said.
He said he performs an "original style of music from Alaska." His lyrics include Tlingit words as well as Alaskan references such as "last frontier capital city."
Bolima grew up splitting his time between Seattle and Angoon. About ten years ago he settled in Juneau, which he sees as a medium between the two homes of his youth.
From moving around so much, he said he's become quite adaptable in his music as well, and is able to perform easily with people with different styles.
"I'm able to adapt to my environment real well," he said. "Sometimes I go with other people and their ideas and where they're from. My music changes with where I'm at - it adapts also.
"Over the years I've changed a little in my style. I've practiced more and more, I keep coming up with more unique stuff nowadays, more well thought-out."
That said, although Bolima welcomes influences from friends he performs with, he doesn't look for inspiration from mainstream artists for his songs.
"I don't try to get outside influence on any of them," he said. "I just try to stay with original Alaska hip-hop style."
And that original Alaska style is just what people can expect to hear at Saturday's performance.
"Come down, have a good time, enjoy the raps that are put down," Mitchell said.