The Jam: Breakout Avenue

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A different sort of twist-and-shout. adege via pixabay, manipulated by lee lim

Exploring the diversity of hip-hop in Regina

On January 14 at 8 p.m., there was a very interesting event happening at The Exchange. The Exchange is a music venue that gives talented locals the chance to show their skills before venturing out to bigger commercial venues, as stated on their website. Dan Innes took the time to organize an event called The Jam: Breakout Avenue, which highlighted hip-hop culture and dancers with an added special guest break-dancer from Vibes YQR.

We thought it would be good to bring you the background story of this event to take a bit of a different approach compared to a typical review. We did an interview with Innes to give you insight into what it takes to run an event at The Exchange,and what inspired The Jam: Breakout Avenue. Innes is an MC, goes by ThatManDan, and he has been pursuing music since 2015.

Can you tell us what inspired you to run this event?

The first reason is that hip-hop in Regina is an underserved population, especially in terms of getting shows and having shows at different venues. […] The inspiration was to create awareness of the hip-hop community in Regina and give the opportunity for five acts to get the opportunity to perform and to be seen.

What are you hoping the vibes of this event are going to be?

Positive, and good times. I want to give a vibe of sharing the culture. Hip-hop has a culture that is made of four elements: breakdancing, DJing (turntablism), MC (rap), and graffiti. So, we want to share that information as well, not only are we a group and artists for that night but we are ambassadors of hip-hop and share that information to educate.

What influence will this event have on Regina’s hip-hop culture?

We are hoping it raises the profile of hip-hop culture in the city. […] We all are hoping to gain some exposure and break down some stigmas around hip-hop. […] This event is for all ages, and it can be a family show to create awareness.

Do you have any personal feelings or reasons why you decided to highlight hip-hop culture?

I think it has the potential to be helpful to people in so many ways. In my life, it has helped me in so many ways. […] I think overall it can be helpful. Even if you are just a listener to hip-hop that is an activity, listening is an activity. So, when you are listening and identifying lyrics and taking in even punch lines, […] and processing information while you do that, it is an exercise thanks to hip-hop. Thanks to all music to some degree, but it allows me to think of hip-hop as my governing body, my perceptions about life.

How did you collaborate multiple different hip-hop cultures into one specific event?

I think how we came to it is that we wanted to attract a fair, well-rounded representation of what exists in hip-hop.

This event was free, but was a fundraiser for the General Hospital Mental Health Unit. Would you like to tell us why you choose them specifically?

Since 1998, I have lived with bipolar. […] It is an understatement to say these people have saved my life. […] The care they gave me was so huge and now we can do a fundraiser, raise some dollars, and give back to the community and unit so that they can support some other people.

Welearned lots of new facts and information about hip-hop culture in Regina, and we hope you did too! We hope this event was a success for ThatManDan and all the other artists who performed.

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