Hip-hop duo of Arias “A.J.” Hoyle and Chris Talley perform an opening act before Khu.eex’ performance at Centennial Hall In January 2019. Both young artists will be part of an Alaskan contingent traveling to Austin. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Hip-hop duo of Arias “A.J.” Hoyle and Chris Talley perform an opening act before Khu.eex’ performance at Centennial Hall In January 2019. Both young artists will be part of an Alaskan contingent traveling to Austin. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Juneau performers will rock the mic before Wu-Tang rapper

Local talent gets chance at big stage.

It’s going to be a rapper’s delight Friday at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

Aside from nationally known, Wu-Tang Clan-connected rapper Killah Priest, the Southeast will have something to say. Before the night’s headliner takes the stage, a glut of local mostly young talent will perform.

[Wu-Tang rapper comes to Juneau]

Those scheduled to sing or rap include Manner, Zansler, Radiophonic Jazz , E.F.A, Big 6 Northkut Alaskan, Indigo Gold, 2015 Alaska Hip Hop Winners Lance & Tbone, Jocelyn Miles, Elephant Boy, Mannerarts ,Glenn Ojard and Big Mano. There will be dance performances By Masters of Destiny.

The opening performances will be hosted by Mike Mercer and Cora Nolan.

“There’s a lot of artists that are just getting their feet wet and for this to be one of their first performances is awesome,” said T.J. “Manner” Cramer, who is one of the more seasoned emcees on the opening lineup.

T.J. “Manner” Cramer will perform ahead of Killah Priest at a concert scheduled for Dec. 20, 2019. (Courtesy Photo | T.J. Cramer)

T.J. “Manner” Cramer will perform ahead of Killah Priest at a concert scheduled for Dec. 20, 2019. (Courtesy Photo | T.J. Cramer)

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Cramer, who is a songwriting teacher, said one of his MannerArts students will also perform.

Exposure for young artists and highlighting a music that can go under-heard in a city that decidedly favors folk is part of the show’s goal, said event organizer Lance Mitchell, who will also perform.

Lance Mitchell, organizer of and a performer in the upcoming Southeast Rap Inferno show, rehearses in his home ahead of the concert scheduled for April 5, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt | Capital City Weekly)

Lance Mitchell, organizer of and a performer in the upcoming Southeast Rap Inferno show, rehearses in his home ahead of the concert scheduled for April 5, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt | Capital City Weekly)

“It’s always been my objective to put people out there that don’t really get a forum,” Mitchell said.

He said tickets remain available for the all-ages show that starts at 8 p.m.

One of the young artists set to perform is 18-year-old Zander Kotlarov, who makes music as Zansler. Kotlarov raps, sings and plays piano.

“I’m going to be doing a couple of old songs, a couple of new songs,” he said in an interview. “There’s some songs I always wanted to perform, and I never did, and now I can.”

He said a lack of time as well as a lack of dedicated rap venues in Juneau prevented him from performing those songs. However, he said he’s excited to take the stage while on a winter break from college.

“I’m a performer,” Kotlarov said. “I love to perform honestly.”

Mostly, he will perform solo, but he will be joined for a couple songs by Eliza Valentine, Kotlarov said.

He said a collaboration with Valentine, “Need U Only,” is one of his most-heard tracks on Soundcloud and YouTube.

Eliza Valentine, performer in the upcoming Southeast Rap Inferno show, rehearses ahead of the concert scheduled for April 5, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt | Capital City Weekly)

Eliza Valentine, performer in the upcoming Southeast Rap Inferno show, rehearses ahead of the concert scheduled for April 5, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt | Capital City Weekly)

Valentine is a young performer herself and made her live performance debut in April at Southeast Rap Inferno.

[Southeast Rap Inferno provides rare venue for local rap]

Arias Hoyle, who raps as Air Jazz and is half of the Radiophonic Jazz Tandem, is also in their age group and graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé in May.

Chris Talley, who makes music as Radiophonic Oddity and is the other half of Radiophonic Jazz, is only a few years older.

However, the opening acts will be more than just a youth movement.

The early portion of the show will also showcase some rappers who are part of a burgeoning battle rap scene in the capital city.

Glenn Ojard, who raps as DEMEA, and promotes, records and participates in the Juneau Playa Haters Club’s rap battles will take the stage Friday night.

“If it wasn’t for the rap battle, I would have never done this,” Ojard said in an interview.

He said performing in a non-battle setting requires a different mindset than spitting combative bars.

That’s because in a battle, a good punchline can make up for a long setup, Ojard said. Fluctuating meter and near rhymes can be forgiven if a good jab lands, but outside of that setting, things need to be tighter.

Ojard said he had some thigns prepared especially for the Friday show, including a rap remix of the Twenty One Pilots song “Heathens.”

However, he said what he’s most looking forward to is seeing the night’s young emcees, in action.

“I’m genuinely pumped to see Arias, Eliza and Zansler,” Ojard said. “Those kids are the future. They’re going to be killing it.”


• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt


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