HipStory is the local collective that’s host to some of Boston’s hottest hip-hop acts like Cliff Notez and Oompa. You can see those two and more from the collective on Saturday, July 29th at a show hosted by East Boston arts non-profit ZUMIX.
The show is being hosted by ZUMIX’s radio station, WZMR, and celebrates the end of HipStory’s first tour. After performing shows in cities all down the east coast, Tim Hall, Forté, Cliff Notez, and Oompa will be back on their home turf for a show at ZUMIX’s headquarters in East Boston.
The artists that make up HipStory all became a part of the collective in order to build a community for the burgeoning hip-hop scene in Boston. Cliff Notez’s debut album, When The Sidewalk Ends details the experience of a black male and the mental and physical hardships that can accompany that. On his Bandcamp page, Cliff Notez states: “This album is a testimony of existence, protest, and survival and how they all become synonymous and unified in the prolonging of the black body.” “Nostalgia” features Forté, another HipStory artist. Cliff Notez’s vocals float crystal clear on top of muted piano and percussion. The song builds, harmonies swirling in and out, never deviating from its sunny disposition. It’s nostalgia in a wistful sense, reflecting on one’s past but not forgetting to look ahead to the future at the same time.
Tim Hall’s music is more spoken word than melodic, but this style emphasizes the power in his words. “Keeper of My Brother” is another exercise in nostalgia as Hall speaks about his growth into himself and how he grappled with his identity before coming into his own true self. His voice is steady and strong as piano chords are gently cycled underneath. The song eases out as gently as it begins, setting itself in contrast to some of the other tracks on Colors Of My Soul. The entire album is self-reflective, each song exploring a different aspect of Hall’s identity and memory.
The show will also feature ZUMIX’s own youth hip hop group Project Method. Tickets are available for $12 in advance or $15 at the door and can be purchased here. But for fans who are 18-years-old and younger, the concert is free. ZUMIX and HipStory are equally committed to making the music scene more accessible to younger crowds, as too many venues around Boston are age-restrictive hosting shows for 18+ or 21+ crowds. Follow the Facebook event for updates and get tickets (for those over 18) here.