For the last two years members of the hip hop group ‘KIDS’ (Jakub Evolved, Kelvin, Munro and Mizzy) have hosted ‘Catch A Vibe’, a hip hop showcase in Vancouver. Last Thursday was the final installment of this series and the closing of another platform dedicated to exposing new talent and developing artists.
The final night hosted a wide array of styles and experience. “(We put together) a mix of everything from younger up and coming artists to some of the more seasoned guys in the city,” Jakub explained. “We are trying to tap into different things happening in the city, grouping artists who had similar things together somehow and making it a full well rounded experience”
The KIDS started this night two years ago to help grow the disparate circles of hip hop in Vancouver. “It’s harder to connect with the larger city outside of the scene. Even within the scene it’s easy to be in bubbles and almost be unaware of other things happening. It could be more interconnected where I think it’s more spaced out… but it’s all in the hip hop genre and I think that separation is unfortunate.” Jakub details the challenges they faced putting together a show every month. “It made us really dig into the scene and find new artists. It was easy for the first few months because we knew a bunch of artists and already had a nice little foundation… but we had to dig even deeper because we do theme nights looking for specific sounds in the city.”
Beyond just offering set time to artists, the real purpose of Catch A Vibe was to bring together 4 to 5 musicians of a similar theme. Mizzy recounts his experiences. “It’s tough to arrange and schedule a lot of people. A lot of things went great but things didn’t always go as planned. We wanted to give them all a chance to showcase their art. That’s what this is all about. Even in the Trap vs Bap show there was separation between the crowd but they were still unified and everybody showed love and had a great finale.”
At their Trap vs (Boom)Bap event each artist performed their style in a competitive format, letting the audience judge by applause. The night was a perfect example of highlighting two subgenres of hip hop in a unique way that helped build on the awareness of artists in the city.
“It’s nice to see the community come together. Although we talk about what it could use, I do feel like at this point the community is a little more unified than it was. That’s beautiful to see. Cats that come out to every show even if they’re not performing, like Rozmo, MC Kavi. All these dudes that continually show support and always bring people with them. Seeing all that come together is the ultimate gift of what we’re trying to create,” says Jakub. “It’s a younger city in general when it comes to hip hop, but I think it is coming along and I’m optimistic for Vancouver”
This city will always have hip hop superstars roll through the large venues where professionals can attach their name as an opening act. When it comes to younger talent, Vancouver suffers from a lack of developmental platforms. Those stages tend to manifest once in a blue moon whenever some passionate souls act on a vision of long term sustainability. The investment of time, money and energy are both frustratingly unrewarded and at the same time absolutely intrinsic to any lasting success. KIDS managed to run this night for two years and now the question remains: Who will step up next?
Stay connected to HHV for updates on such outlets as the Vancouver hip hop community continues to develop.