The five elements of hip hop are as follows: the emcee, the DJ, graffiti, the B-boy/B-girl and knowledge.
In other words, they’re rap, music, art, dance and—this one doesn’t change—knowledge.
Are some of these elements absent in mainstream portrayals of hip hop culture? Perhaps. That’s what the Brickhouse Gallery (2837 36th Street) wants to get people talking about. Where did hip hop come from? What is it, really? The Art of Hip Hop exhibit takes over the gallery for June, and it’s celebrating these five elements with a few special events.
On Thursday, June 5, the gallery will host “Bridging the Literary Gap: A Special Tribute to Dr. Maya Angelou.” Dr. Eugene Redmond, Poet Laureate of East St. Louis and friend to Angelou, was going to act as the special guest but will need to attend Angelou’s funeral instead. Still, local poets will perform in her memory: Noah ‘Supernova’ Hayes, Lawrence ‘NSAA’ Dinkins, Anna Marie, Dante’ Pelayo, Paul Willis and HurriKane. The event starts at 6 p.m. and costs $5.
For Second Saturday on June 14, the gallery will declare a Hip Hop State of Emergency. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m. for a live graffiti showcase. At 2 p.m., a panel discussion with artists Davey D Cook, Refa “One” Senay, Rodney “Raw” Brown, Miss Marianna, Harley White Jr. and DJ Rock Bottom ensues. The day closes with a performance at 4:30 p.m. from Miss Marianna, a local hip hop emcee. Entrance costs $10.
Then there’s #TheMostOpenMicInTheCity, which we’ve written about before. The guerrilla open mic will pop up at the Brickhouse on Monday, June 16. It’s free before 8:08 p.m. and $5 after.
No Excuses battle league will host two events at the gallery: a dance-off on Friday, June 20 and a rap-off on Friday, June 27. Organizers expect the battle rap event to be especially huge—the league’s champion Matt K.O. just might get dethroned. Check the Facebook page for updates on times, costs and lineups. Edit: These events have been canceled!
And finally, a closing reception takes place on Sunday, June 29 at 4 p.m.
More events still could be added throughout the month. Keep up here.