With Hip-hop artists such as Metabeats, Joe Blow and Mudmowth gaining heavy praise from the music press at the moment, legends such as Me One returning home, and adopted Welsh son Ruffstylz bringing the World’s Longest Freestyle record to its shores, Wales is in pretty good shape whilst the rest of the UK Hip-hop scene is slowly dying.
The embodiment of this spirit is Roxe Jam, a free Weekend of Hip-hop culture in Cardiff on the weekend of July 26th – 27th. Roxe Jam sees a large portion of the country’s Rappers, DJs, Graf writers and B Boys with a few specially invited guests join up in a display of unity it can be hard to find these days, but which helps to keep the scene in Wales alive and kicking still.
The Jam has been set up by the Roxe Foundation, and begun as a memorial to young Cardiff Graf writer Bill Lockwood aka Roxe following his death in a road accident in January last year.
Roxe Foundation is all about finding opportunities for young graf writers to have the chance to paint legally. Bill's mum Lou has the support of Cardiff crews Cruel Vapours and Peaceful Progress which promises a first class jam here local young artists get to paint alongside leading Welsh Graf artists such as Rmer, Hoxe, Foe, Best, Solve, Yokel and Scroe, as well as other invited writers from around the country.
Hip-hop night Higher Learning will also be following up their Big Welsh Mix Tape Jam from last year, a who’s who of Welsh rappers and DJs including all the names above plus many others including: Dead Residents; Welsh speaking North Waleians such as Y Diwygiad and Hoax; Humurak D Gritty; Optimas Prime; Quiet Poison; Out of the Box; and Roxe’s brother Smithy Blade alongside his crew Flow of Thought. All these names may mean nothing to those outside of the scene but represent a rich diversity of sounds and styles within Welsh Hip-hop, as well as a level of quality that has been criminally overlooked in the past.
This year the Mix Tape Jam will be held in Sevenoaks Park alongside the Graff Jam on Saturday, and there will also be a chance for up and coming Emcees and singers to shine with the ‘New Breed Mixtape Jam’, an opportunity which also includes a week of rehearsals with Expressions of the Young Kind, a talented collective of young performers from Cardiff, headed up by Threjay Williams.
B Boys are not forgotten either and on the Sunday ‘Elemental Force’ have organised a big jam session with the freshest Breakdancers in the UK, and showcases from some of the youth teams in Wales. Again this will all take place in the park for free. There will also be live music on Sunday from YesKing, the new project by Grand Central’s Mark Rae and Welsh born musician / producer Rhys Adams aka Frankie Valley, with live Brass section and vocals from British Hip-hop legend Mystro alongside Baby Chann from UK Bashment crew Suncycle and award winning female rapper / singer, Ayak.
This event is funded by The Roxe Foundation with help from The Arts Council for Wales, Cardiff Council and Communities First Trust Fund and most artists are performing for the love, but donations to the Foundation are welcome and can be sent to 13 Llandaff Rd Cardiff CF11 9NF. All cheques should be made payable to 'The Roxe Foundation'.