Hip-hop wise, things are healthier than they’ve ever been in this country. We have multiple nights and music collectives such as the Outsiders crew doing their thing.
Outsider YP and his gang have been busy pushing left-field hip-hop over the last few years and they’ve already released some great music and hosted some cool events. Their biggest show yet is taking place in early March in Cyprus Avenue.
The Outsiders Festival will see a host of Ireland’s finest hip-hop and r&b acts gather under the one roof in the new-look venue on March 2 for a celebration of some great new music.
Outsider YP will be joined by Tebi Rex, JyellowL, Jordan Adetunji, Kestine, Jay Ronic, Olympio, HLYWD, Pharaii, SALAMAY and ApocalypsE for what should be a great night.
My own GOOD Music night continues in the same venue this Saturday and this is another hip-hop night attracting a new young crowd. I’ll be joined on the decks by Ciara Ryan, Ken, Joseph, as well as Gadget and the Cloud.
Cyprus Avenue have been very busy filling up their diary. They are also set to host two other acts who are from a hip-hop background, but who went on to become big names in the pop game.
Lots of people won’t remember this, but about 10 years ago Maverick Sabre was a young rapper hanging out on Irish hip-hop forums. His subsequent success has been more on a soul tip, but he’s a great artist who’s development has been very impressive to watch.
Example, probably best known for dance tunes like, is another guy who came up through the rap route before becoming a huge pop star.
He plays Cyprus Avenue on Tuesday, February 12, while Maverick Sabre plays on Friday, March 29.
The biggest rap show of the year so far in Cork takes place the following week in the same venue. The legendary GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan will be performing solo material with someclassics interspersed with classic Wu on a night that is not to be missed! GZA is many peoples favourite Wu-Tang MC and he is quite simply one of the greatest MCs of them all.
It Takes a Village festival is also taking shape in Cork, and this year the Trabolgan event moves to a later date in May.
Initial announcements are not heavy on the hip-hop, but we can expect to see Giles Peterson, The Herbaliser, Don Letts, Sister Nancy and more.
Back in the city, Dali is doing some big club nights and while it is known more as a house and techno venue, our own Taboo night is busy every month too.
We celebrate our third birthday on the last Saturday of this month in the former Pav venue and we will be joined on the decks by French DJ Kidjack for a celebration of hip-hop/rnb/dancehall and afrobeats.
Cork’s premier promoters of all things hip-hop, the Cuttin Heads collective, are taking a little break in January, but they will have plenty of shows coming up too later in the year.
GMC and crew are continuing their good work up in The Kabin too, a great resource supported by Music Generation that is helping develop young rappers and producers on the northside of Cork city.
There will also be some hip-hop up in UCC for Refugee Week, so look out for this!
Overall hip-hop in Cork is in a good place right now but the most exciting developments are happening in studios and bedrooms.
We’ve got more young producers than ever and there’s some exciting music coming.
It’s never been more accessible to people to get involved in making their own music and the software, hardware and other gear is much cheaper and easier to use than it used be, say, 10 or 20 years ago.
Everyone wanted to be a DJ in the 90s, while in the 00s it was rapping that became more popular.
Thankfully production is more of a thing now, so we can expect some great new music from Cork very soon!