Crook the Kid in Cabin Radio's Studio One. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio
Yellowknife’s first hip-hop festival will be taking the stage at the Raven Pub on Saturday night, with local, national and international rap artists.
Trevor Sinclair, former executive director of Music NWT and now owner of Music Management North, said the festival – named Eviction Notice – offers something most northerners don’t often experience.
“I spoke with all kinds of hip-hop artists, managers and agents, pitching this idea about a hip-hop festival in the subarctic,” he said of his time spent at the Canada Music Week industry conference earlier this year.
“They went crazy. They love the idea, they want to see this happen, and now we just need the NWT and certainly Yellowknife behind us to make this a successful show.”
Headlining the show is internationally acclaimed hip-hop artist Junk from Vancouver, BC. Fort Good Hope’s Crook the Kid will also feature, as will Khamel-Eon from Trinidad and Tobago and Ice Cold Collective from Yellowknife.
The festival will host a workshop during the day with Crook the Kid and Ice Cold Collective. Open to youth under the age of 25, young rappers will have the chance to create something with established artists and potentially open the festival on Saturday night. The workshops will be held at 11am, and those interested should reach out to Sinclair for details and sign-up.
Crook the Kid, who played a role in organizing the festival, said Eviction Notice will help bring awareness in the North of hip-hop and the benefits it offers.
“It started as a dream and the idea came from the lack [of hip-hop] in the North. And it’s a need that we see and are going to try to fill,” Crook the Kid told Cabin Radio.
“Growing up in small, remote communities, we had very little accessibility. Paying thousands of dollars to have an organized band and a place to play wasn’t coming for us.
“But a pen and paper was absolutely there at all times. Now you mix that with the socio-economic issues that we face in the Arctic, in the North and in Yellowknife – whether it be addiction or homelessness or suicide or trauma from residential schools – these things are affecting our families and within the lyrics of hip-hop music, we’re all able to relate to the message and those struggles.”
Aiming to keep the festival affordable, Sinclair hopes that this year’s ticket price, $25, will remain the same in coming years, no matter how the event grows.