Rapper’s delight planned for Friday night

Rapper’s delight planned for Friday night

Southeast Rap Inferno brings together at least a dozen performers

First-time spitters, veteran MCs and local singers are coming together to put a rhyme night in the limelight.

Southeast Rap Inferno is bringing together about a dozen performers from Juneau and Hoonah for a night focused on rap and hip-hop that will be different from the rock and folk shows that are more common in the capital city.

“So many people are coming out of the woodwork,” said Lance Mitchell of Alaska Local Music Radio, who is organizing the show and will also perform. “I think that Juneau is going to be a music hub in the next few years in various music disciplines. I think it’s just a matter of time. There’s going to be an explosion here, people are going to be coming here. There’s just so much talent.”

While that might be in Juneau’s future, rappers said it’s not exactly Juneau’s present, and they’re pretty happy to get a chance to perform the music they love.

“I’m from New Orleans, and I moved up here about 13 years ago,” said veteran perform LaTroy Burras, 40, in an interview with the Capital City Weekly. “I think down there I had two or three shows a week. Up here it’s, ‘Oh, I think I can put something together every eight months.’”

“Any time you can get together and display your craft, it’s a beautiful thing,” he added.

Burras is a Christian rapper who performs under the name ODYC —pronounced odyssey — who has been rapping for the better part of two decades and is slated to spend some time on the mic Friday.

“I grew up in the church, and I felt just called to spread the word of God,” Burras said. “I always wanted to sing, but I can’t sing. I liked rap, and thought I could put some words to a beat. I just truly enjoy spreading the gospel in this way.”

While he’s still rapping about his faith, Burras said time has mellowed his message.

[Folk Fest 2019 is coming]

“When I was younger, it was mostly judgmental,” Burras said of his lyrics. “Now, it’s this is me. I’m going through the same struggles as the next man. I’m not damning anyone to hell anymore. It’s like, this is just how I’m getting through. I’m just letting people know it’s pretty cool when you don’t have to lean on your own self. You can lean on this bigger person.”

Another long-time MC set to perform will be a familiar name to Southeast Alaska rap fans.

Elton Willard, aka Big E, is traveling from Hoonah for the show. He’s part of the Southeast rap collective, Northkut Crew, formerly known as the Wolfpack, and is excited to perform.

“We do rap about the Alaska lifestyle,” Willard said. “It’s a lot different than most. It’s definitely an Alaska style. We rap a lot of hunting and fishing, not the partying and smoking and what not.”

Willard said his crew will perform an hour-long set.

“We’ve got songs for days,” he said. “We could perform all night if we wanted to, but we want to let some other acts get some shine.”

First-time performer Justen Samuels will be making the trip from Hoonah with Willard, and said he’s ready to fill the role of hypeman or ad-lib man even if he’s got some anxiety about his first public set.

“I’m the type of person who likes to try new things,” Samuels said.

Pairing experienced performers with genre newcomers is a common theme in the show. That extends to singers, like newcomer Eliza Valentine, who will perform during the show.

“It’s been a real thrilling experience,” Valentine said. “There’s really no words to describe it.”

Rapper’s delight planned for Friday night

Jeneveva Vida Morris, who has been writing poetry and singing for years but only took to rap within the past two years, will be another fledgling rapper preforming.

[Home Depot plans hiring push]

Since Morris is a relative newcomer to rap, her performance will be a collaboration with Chris Tally, who performs as RPO, and singer Alyssa Fischer.

“I won’t be doing anything solo just yet,” Morris said. “It’s kind of dipping my toes a little bit.”

Morris said she’s excited there’s an avenue for her and fellow performers to show off what they can do and is pleasantly surprised there were enough local performers to make the show happen.

“I am aware of some of the musical talent in the town because of some friends that I have, but I am impressed that there’s so much more I wasn’t aware of,” she said. “To put on a full show for it has really shown me how much is here and how much I can learn from it. It’s like going to school for the first time. I know what I’m going wear, I know what I’m going to say, and you go up there, and it’s like, ‘Oh, man, there’s more people like that out there.’”

Know & Go

What: Southeast Rap Inferno

When: 10 p.m., April 5

Where: Rendezvous

Admission: There is no cover charge

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

More in News

Meals slated for children in Juneau over Thanksgiving weekend are arrayed on tables at Thunder Mountain High School on Nov. 25, 2020. (Courtesy photo / Luke Adams)
Font of plenty: JSD readies meals for Thanksgiving holiday

Nearly three tons of food got distributed for the long weekend.

Travelers arrive at the Juneau International Airport on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, made up only about half of what the airport normally sees in the days leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Centennial Hall, seen here on Tuesday, Nov. 24, is being used by the City and Borough of Juneau as an emergency facility during the coronavirus pandemic and will not host the annual Public Market which has taken place every weekend after Thanksgiving since 1983. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Want to buy Alaskan? Closed by pandemic, Public Market goes virtual

Normally throngs of Juneauites would be lined up around the block…

To capture the unexpected action- the unrepeatable moment- it should be instinctive.  In order to build the story you have to shoot the adjective.  In this photo the bald eagle had waited patiently for the right moment to pounce on an unsuspecting vole… the unexpected.  The best way to accomplish this is to master the art of the most difficult subject to photograph– birds in flight.  In order to do this you must learn your gear; it must become part of your muscle memory so you can concentrate on the story you are witnessing.  Canon 5D Mark III, Tamron 150-600mm, shot at 600mm, ISO AUTO (1250), F6.3, 1/3200, Handheld. (Courtesy Photo / Heather Holt)
Focal Point: Great photos are just waiting in the wings

Learn to shoot the verb (and the bird).

Has it always been a police car. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)
Police calls for Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Construction of the new Glory Hall, above, is going smoothly, said executive director Mariya Lovishchuk on Nov. 24, 2020. (Courtesy photo / Thor Lindstam)
Building a brighter future: New Glory Hall reaches skyward

The structure is rapidly progressing, shouldering aside inclement weather.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
COVID at a glance for Tuesday, Nov. 24

The most recent state and local numbers.

Most Read