The Beat Goes On

Beetrip Series Offers a Night of Freestyling at EMP

I am bored with listening to music on a computer alone in my room; especially when  this music establishes its roots among the common person. However, coming to Beettrip introduces a whole new experience of listening and engaging with music while incorporating traditional tropes from Hip Hop. Hip Hop, a genre born out of community coming together, is alive and well in Baltimore.

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Dylan Ubaldo of Basement Rap inside his studio at the Bell Foundry.

Artists like Dylijens (Dylan Ubaldo, founder of Llamadon and member of Basement Rap), who run this event are redefining what it means to be active in the Hip Hop scene. Beettrip is an event where 6 music producers lay down beats for five minutes each. During this time the mic is completely open to anyone. One of the main rules of this event is respect; it doesn’t matter if you’re  a complete stranger  or a known artist: everyone’s equal even if you cypher with the likes of Eze Jackson or Lonnie Moore.

Tonight EMP Collective where is hosting for Beettrip Episode 48, and it’s blank gallery aesthetic is a wonderful pairing with the collaged aesthetic of curated producers and random MC’s . Collaged visuals (created by Urban Shaman) project onto the walls of the gallery. The medley of visuals and audio fit perfectly with the space.

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Attendants discussing the night.

The performances take place in a dark room, only from a blue light above. The crowd huddles around the mic rapping about their frustrations and curiosities by way of stream of consciousness. The diversity in the crowd is broad, participation in this event knows no color or creed.

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Projection work at Beettrip

As the night goes on however, I notice that despite the fact that one of the main rules is to pass the mic regularly there are some personalities who like to grandstand. Although it is hilarious at times, it can be frustrating to see a large group of other willing MC’s shunned or have the mic ripped out of their hands while they are in the middling of performing. Thankfully the head MC, Lonnie Moore, kindly steps in and reminds everyone about the rules and things keep moving along .

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