From a New Orleans up-and-comer to a local legend
There's plenty to see and do at the 2x2 Hip-Hop Festival, which, now in its fourth year, has relocated to the West Side, taking place outside the old Hillcrest Lanes Bowling Alley at 3440 W. Broad St. Aside from the mix of artists, breakdancers and, yes, kids' activities, here are three performers you should be sure to check out.
Yellow Brick Stage, 5:15 p.m.
The New Orleans rapper's vulnerability is on full display throughout The Beautiful, from 2017, which took shape following the suicide death of his brother, Orlandas Banks. (The album begins with Alfred attending his brother's funeral.) Atop Beatles samples and soulful breakbeats, Banks pays tribute to his late sibling, balancing his heartache with more hopeful turns such as “Joyful Therapy,” where the clouds part and the MC rediscovers his calling, rapping, “Now my music serves even more purpose.”
Seventh Son Stage, 7:30 p.m.
On Blueprint's newest release, Two-Headed Monster, the nationally known Columbus MC and producer embraces a philosophy of self-determination, especially on tracks like “A Hero Dies Once.” “Instead of saying, ‘I wonder what someone is going to let me do today?' you wake up and say, ‘Who's going to stop me?'” 'Print said in a May Alive interview.
Yellow Brick Stage, 8 p.m.
The Minneapolis rapper — part of the Rhymesayers stable — arrives here in support of his latest, Pookie Baby, which surfaced earlier this year. The album is a showcase for Prof's off-kilter sense of humor (“Send Nudes”), his skewed flow (note the variety of tones and cadences he adopts on “Andre the Giant,” for one) and his stinging cultural criticisms (“I've Cooked Crack Before,” a thinly veiled shot at rappers who lead fictional on-record lives). Expect all sides to be on display in this headlining turn.