By Saphire Broxton, Events Intern
This past Saturday, July 29th, Boston-based hip-hop group HipStory ended their tour with a concert at ZUMIX! HipStory is a group made up of different Boston artists – such as Cliff Notez and Oompa – whose art often focuses on topics such as what it means to be Black in America. Some of the members, like Oompa, were even ZUMIX youth or involved in ZUMIX when they were younger. Cliff Notez was at ZUMIX two weeks ago for our Summer Speakers Series as one of our panelists, discussing “How to Use Art for Healing”.
The concert began around 7:30, with ZUMIX youth hip-hop band Project Method opening for the group. One member, Dawry Ruiz, started with a spoken word piece about life in America as a person of color, before they began to perform some of their music. As the group performed, the audience was enthused by Chad Williams’s sick dance moves and inclusion of the audience in their performance.
After Project Method, ZUMIX alum and friend of HipStory Nick Shea performed a short impromptu original set.
By the time HipStory went on stage, the place was filled with audience members of all kinds of ages, ready to be entertained. Tim Hall, a member of HipStory who was on the saxophone for the night, started the show by hyping the audience, before introducing the other artists to the stage.
The night was met with music from each of the artists – Oompa, Cliff Notez, and Forté – as well as some special guests and the chance for audience members to buy some merchandise. The music itself was powerful, and at times so raw your heart hurt a little bit; they sang about lost love, black power, those days when getting up is just too hard, losing family members, and more. Yet, they still kept things lighthearted too: they ended the night with their “get lit” songs, including one about black female empowerment. There were also some pretty funny moments, like when Oompa sang to one of the audience members – ZUMIX youth Mario, from Wild Painting.
Throughout the set – HipStory kept the audience in check by ranking the energy of the room on a scale. At intervals the room progressed from 5/10 to 8/10. Although it was never announced whether we reached level 10 – I think it’s safe to say we did.
Keep up-to-date with HipStory by visiting their website, www.hipstory.org and following them on their social media platforms: