On this Saturday in Library Mall at the bottom of State Street, you can learn about Hip-Hop culture from industry professionals and dance to the beat of rappers and singers with the Urban Arts Community Network (UCAN) “For The Love of Hip-Hop” Summer Concert Series in downtown Madison.
“We do these concerts for a few different reasons,” Karen Reece, president of UCAN, tells Madison365. “One reason is to give opportunities to hip-hop artists so they can perform. Another reason is to show Madison what Hip-Hop really looks like. So we take it outside and we take it to places where people might not normally listen to Hip-Hop and we give them a good show.”
This Saturday, Aug. 25, the event will take place 5-7 p.m. at Libary Mall on the UW campus in downtown Madison. It will be an R&B showcase featuring Latianna Anderson, Landon Devon, Alise Mosley, Josh Hayes, Jay B Coolin and Arian Zafari. DJ Stacktrace will also be performing.
“We started this Free Summer Concert Series back in 2013 so this is our 6th year,” Reece says. “The response has been great. I think the most fun part about it is doing the concerts on State Street and having all kinds of people participate in the shows. We’ve had people who got married at the Capitol or the Overture Center that are walking by and they will dance in all of their wedding clothes. Sometimes police who are going up and down State Street will stop by and dance.
“You can see a theme here … there’s a lot of dancing,” she adds. “There are people at the top and bottom of State Street who are dealing with various issues or may be homeless and they are coming out to the event. We have little babies come and older people come. It’s probably about as diverse a mix of people as you can get.”
“For The Love of Hip-Hop” Summer Concert Series is an event put on by UCAN, which is dedicated to supporting sustainability in the Madison Hip-Hop community and advocating for equity in the local arts and entertainment.
“We have a lot of things going on at UCAN right now. We have a school project called ‘Academic Rap-Up’ where we take rappers as resident artists into schools to help them write rhymes for their lessons,” Reece says. “We’ve been working with the Madison Public Library in summertime in what we call ‘Media Academy’ which is a similar idea but it expands from just writing raps about lessons to giving the kids an opportunity to learn about the technology and recording and videography.”
There are only three “For The Love of Hip-Hop” Summer Concert Series events left for the year. Reeces says that you’re going to want to catch the one on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a beautiful day. There’s always food carts and other things you can buy on State Street. It’s going to be really great music and a nice chance to support your young local artists,” she says. “It’s the perfect summer evening to spend some time outside with people you like or come by yourself and meet other people and just enjoy yourself.”