Love 4 Hip-Hop
w/ Matt Monday, Salis, Harley Boys, Greenland Gunna, Primetime, LOBG, B. Kiddo, Walter Brown, Backboy Sav, Fleming Trap, Marly Mar, DJ Tantrum
Fri. May 31
32 Ann St.
Love 4 Hip-Hop is the latest addition to the Charleston rap atmosphere (rapmosphere?), providing another platform to promote some of the up-and-comers and less-exposed hip-hop artists in the Lowcountry. "It really was just a vision of putting all the artists together that's actually from Charleston on the same stage," says organizer Ronald Cromwell. "I feel like we need a little bit more unity for everyone to make it big."
And Love 4 Hip-Hop will bring a little taste of all Charleston hip-hop flavors under one roof. More popular artists such as Cultura and Filthy 2 mastermind Matt Monday, country-rap artist Salis, Lowcountry rap heroes Marly Mar and Primetime, and Mt. Pleasant IMOW rapper Walter Brown will stand next to some up and coming talent like Greenland Gunna.
"It's a lot of artists out here. I feel it can be many more [shows]. We have talent that's just kind of hidden and they don't have a platform to really perform and get their talents out there. That's all we're trying to do is help," Cromwell explains.
Some on-the-rise artists, like Backboy Sav, the Harley Boys, and B. Kiddo will be a steady middle ground between the Charleston famous and Lowcountry underground.
"I guess you can say 'raw hip-hop,'" Cromwell says about the various styles of rap represented. "People talking about where they're from, Charleston, South Carolina. Matt teaches a lot, so I want to say that's pretty much it. It's from the bottom to the top. They kind of rap about everything, just telling their story of living in Charleston, South Carolina, so you'll hear a lot of that."
"Charleston is home," says Tray Harley, one half of the Harley Boys. "In our whole area [Summerville], we worked so hard and everybody's doing what they need to do, so it was only right for us to be included."
Harley adds that it feels "legendary" to be on the same bill as some of their childhood idols. "We grew up listening to Marly Mar. We still run Marly Mar's music — Primetime and Digga — we grew up listening to that," he says.
Harley hopes that Love 4 Hip-Hop will bring more light to the Lowcountry rap scene. "There's a hip-hop scene, but it's not on the forefront as it should be, as big as the hip-hop culture is," he comments. "I feel like that's the biggest thing — the unity and the expansion of the music."
Cromwell pieced the event together with his old friends, Jerrold Phenix and Matt Grant, for the purpose of bringing more publicity to the local rap scene. "I'm going to have videographers, photographers out there capturing everything," Cromwell says. "I just really want everyone to kind of reach the next level, and then they can say that's where they started at."
Landing a spot at the Music Farm didn't hurt, either. "I don't know how many concerts I've been to there, just in the crowd, checking things out, so it does feel good to actually be the one hosting an event," he adds.
With memories of Cultura still fresh in our minds, another concert showcasing all of the talent in the increasingly popular hip-hop scene is in the cards. And with Cromwell already talking about doing a couple Love 4 Hip-Hop shows every year, the scene shouldn't be starved for those types of shows any time soon.
"I really tried to tell all the artists — because there are a lot of artists that called after and said, 'Hey, man, why didn't you call me' — and I'm just like, 'There's going to be another try, so you'll probably be on the front next time,'" he says.