Midwest hip-hop innovators come to Stout

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By Sam Kilgard —

Midwestern hip-hop has been crashing into the music scene as of late by creating a category all its own. With its distinctive lyrical emphasis, Midwestern hip-hop relies on words to carry the flow rather than the beat.

On December 3, Blue Devil Productions will be hosting a free concert in the terrace of the MSC at 8:00. The concert will include the performance of Minneapolis rapper Homeless, Minneapolis DJ Big Cats and Eau Claire rapper Sayth.

Ryan Kopperud, who uses Homeless as his stage name, went to the University of Minnesota and attended poetry of rap class, which is where he first met DJ Big Cats. Homeless has released over ten albums and has been making music for ten years. He has performed in almost every venue in the Twin Cities and has done poetry all over the country.

Homeless has even opened up for headliners such as Prof in the Varsity theatre at the U of M.

But Homeless has never played at Stout. “I’m looking forward to performing and getting down with everyone,” he said.

Spencer Wirth-Davis, known as Big Cats, has been making music since he was nine and has been DJing since he was 19. He has released nine albums and is currently working on his tenth, which is due for release this spring. He often collaborates with Homeless. Their last project together, “The Polar Bear Rug”, was released last July.

Big Cats is no stranger to Menomonie, as he has been here five times. However, he is undoubtedly a well-traveled artist.

“I’ve played in NYC, Chicago, Austin, Denver and all over the Midwest. I’ve played most venues in the Twin Cities. My favorites are First Avenue and Icehouse,” he said.

The opener for the night, Eric Wells (aka Sayth), is a 21-year-old rapper from Eau Claire who just released an EP titled “Body Pillow” earlier this year. Wells is no stranger to the Stout scene as he performed here a few years ago when he accompanied ModSun.

Wells has played in New York and around the Midwest at various locations including colleges and house parties. Wells enjoys playing in Menomonie due to the raw, homegrown energy.

“There’s an awesome underground music scene bubbling at Stout right now, I’ve had the pleasure of playing a couple shows in some basements over there in the past few years”

These three artists are major representatives of a new and exciting Midwestern hip-hop scene. Don’t be surprised if they become household names a few years from now.

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