In recognition of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop and its influence on contemporary music, art, fashion, and culture, Music at the Intersection and The Walls off Washington are presenting 50 community-facing concerts, workshops, demonstrations, installations and parties that celebrate and elevate hip-hop throughout 2023. Elemental, the name of the year-long event series, is a reference to the four elements of hip-hop. DJing, MCing (rapping), breakdancing (B-Boying/B-Girling) and graffiti serve as Elemental’s theme and lodestar.
On Saturday, April 22, Elemental is hosting its first of four keystone, day-long (or multi-day) quarterly events – with a mix of free and ticketed activations – at The Walls off Washington, celebrating the origin of hip-hop through art, music and dance.
The Lot: From 1pm-7pm, within Kranzberg Arts Foundation’s Grand Center footprint (with The Walls off Washington and Josephine Baker Blvd. serving as the center of activity), attendees will be able to enjoy food trucks, shop artisan vendors and experience multiple FREE activations, including: DJs (Agile One, DJ Crucial, James Biko), live performances (Bates, Tef Poe), a B-Boy/Girl showcase presented by Grand Leroy, skate demos by Sk8 Liborious and live art by BRKLYN.
Artist Talk: At 7pm, attendees can attend an artist talk with DJ Tony Touch, Tef Poe, Agile One and DJ Crucial, hosted by Finsta, discussing mix tapes and indy labels’ role and impact on the evolution of hip-hop.
Episode 4 “The After Party”: At 9pm, Elemental will move into Sophie’s Artist Lounge for a ticketed party ($20) featuring break dancer, rapper, record producer and DJ Tony Touch (a B-Boy during the rap renaissance of the early 80s, known for his mix tapes with Big Daddy Kane, Wyclef, M.O.P, Big L, Mos Def and more). Tickets are available via Eventbrite or at www.kranzbergartsfoundation.org
“Elemental is a 12 month campaign celebrating the four elements of hip-hop across five decades,” said Chris Hansen, Executive Director of Kranzberg Arts Foundation. “Hip-hop’s influence is everywhere, and we’re showcasing that impact through cool events, robust storytelling and incredible talent – including locally and nationally significant artists, B-Boys/B-Girls, MCs and DJs who have been truly instrumental to hip-hop culture.”
LOOKING AHEAD: 12 MONTHS, 50 EVENTS, 4 ELEMENTS
Elemental’s 50 events include a mix of free and ticketed concerts, workshops, demonstrations, installations and parties. Details will continue to be released throughout 2023. For more information and a calendar of events, visit www.kranzbergartsfoundation.org
Looking ahead, the Elemental calendar includes:
- April 22: Dre’Co Unplugged at The Dark Room ($20-25)
- April 26: Elemental 101 DJ workshop with DJ Chris Brown and DJ Whiz ($10)
- July 22 “The Lot” celebrating the Golden Era of hip-hop and including the unveiling of new Grand Center public art installations (mix of free / ticketed)
- September’s Intersessions conference (Sept 7-8) will have special sessions and panelists discussing Hip-Hop’s influence on the music industry. Music at the Intersection festival (Sept 9-10) will elevate hip-hop, with performances from pioneers Grandmaster Flash (who perfected beat looping and discovered some of the most iconic beats still commonly sampled today), Cameo (who combined hip-hop influence into their horn-oriented 70s funk sound, resulting in 80s Billboard hits like Word Up and Candy), Arrested Development (the first hip-hop artist to win a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1993) and Pharoahe Monch (one of underground hip-hop’s pre-eminent lyricists of the late 90s / 2000s). A variety of unique, modern-day hip-hop sounds will be represented through Smino, Thundercat, Masego, Tank and the Bangas and Phony Ppl, among others. There will also be a celebration of St. Louis’ imprint on hip-hop spanning the last five decades. Festival tickets are offered as all-weekend or single-day passes. Limited quantity GA prices start at $149 for all-weekend access or $79 for a day pass.
- October 28 “The Lot” will celebrate hip-hop’s influence on fashion (mix of free / ticketed).
Elemental is sponsored by The Walls Off Washington. Music at the Intersection, Kranzberg Arts Foundation, 4Hands Brewing Company and Might Kind Seltzers.
ABOUT MUSIC AT THE INTERSECTION:
Music at the Intersection is a civic-led effort presented by Kranzberg Arts Foundation in partnership with Steward Family Foundation and The Regional Arts Commission (RAC) of St. Louis. First held in 2021, the festival tells the story of St. Louis’ musical, cultural and artistic heritage. It celebrates the city’s imprint on the American songbook, the relationship St. Louis has with its Mississippi River sister cities and the musical genres that have been birthed and fostered locally. Music at the Intersection gives a spotlight to national acts as well as St. Louis-based musicians across blues, jazz, soul, R&B, Hip-Hop, and rock and roll. The third annual Music at the Intersection will take place September 9-10, 2023. More information: www.musicattheintersection.org
PR Contact: Beth Hoops, firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE WALLS OFF WASHINGTON:
The Walls Off Washington, opened in October 2022, is a destination for everyone to experience outdoor art through an eclectic mix of world-class murals over the span of a few, walkable city blocks in the Grand Center Arts District. The installation features 20 thought-provoking murals by renowned local, national and international artists painted on (and off) walls between Josephine Baker Boulevard and N. Leonard Ave. The Walls Off Washington will eventually expand to include even more murals across a four-block area. For more information and artist bios, visit www.wallsstl.com.
ABOUT KRANZBERG ARTS FOUNDATION:
The Kranzberg Arts Foundation is committed to providing the essential infrastructure necessary for the arts to thrive in the St. Louis community. Through the development of performing arts venues, visual arts galleries, free music programs, and work spaces for non-profit arts organizations, the Foundation creates opportunities for and nurtures the growth of artists, while working with emerging and leading arts organizations to engage with St. Louis’s diverse community in ways that are relevant, inclusive, and inspiring. For more information, visit www.kranzbergartsfoundation.org.