The Frequency's final hip-hop show is a blowout of Madison-connected artists. Info/tix
The Frequency, the beloved downtown club that will close up at the end of June, has had a paradoxical relationship with hip-hop. It banned the genre twice, in part due to pressure from the venue's landlord, and in part due to what everyone later realized was a botched reaction to a fight at a 2016 event. And yet, during its 10-year run, it still managed to fuck up less than most other local venues when it came to offering Madison-area hip-hop artists a chance to perform. This says a lot about inequality and systemic racism in Madison's music landscape, but also says something about co-owners Darwin Sampson and Dana Pellebon's willingness to listen to the community and learn from their missteps. So it's fitting that the venue's last week in operation includes a blowout hip-hop show that will somehow cram nearly 20 locally connected artists into one night.
Dubbed "The Last Stand," this show features the trap-infused Trebino, versatile Twin Cities native Lucien Parker, quick-spitting UW-Madison engineering student Hanks, and Kiloakaskitlz, who has a new solo mixtape on the way to follow her recent single "New Religion." Others on the bill, like Ra'Shaun and Landon Devon, embrace a fluid mix of rapping and hook-laden singing. It's a lot to pack into a place like The Frequency, but it should serve as a reminder of the variety and vitality of Madison hip-hop, and the importance of giving it a platform. —Scott Gordon