Paid Dues Festival honors conscious hip-hop on first nationwide tour


:: Paid Dues Festival ::
:: feat. De La Soul, Blackalicious, Sage Francis, Murs & 9th Wonder ::
:: Fillmore Auditorium :: June 13 ::


By Lisa Oshlo

Heading into its third wildly successful year, independent hip-hop festival Paid Dues has finally grown from its roots as a single-date event to include additional shows in select cities around the country.

After selling out two consecutive years in Southern California, the promoters (underground MC MURS and marketing company Guerilla Union) have expanded to include dates in New York, Fort Lauderdale, Denver, and San Francisco throughout the month of June.

Begun in 2005 as a way to support underground hip-hop, Paid Dues has always strived to showcase the biggest indy names, the ones that despite talent and rabid fan bases are often marginalized or ignored by the mainstream music media. The artists on this year’s bill prove no exception, as different stops on the tour will feature a different mix of the following: Rakim, De La Soul, GZA, Blackalicious, Sage Francis, Little Brother, Hieroglyphics, MURS & 9th Wonder, Buckshot, Supernatural & Skratch, Kidz In the Hall, Yak Ballz, Soliloquists of Sound, Braille, and B. Dolan. The Denver leg of the tour will feature De La Soul, Blackalicious, Sage Francis, MURS & 9th Wonder, Supernatural & Skratch, Kidz In the Hall, Yak Ballz, Braille, and B. Dolan.

What many of these artists have in common is their D.I.Y. ethic, many of whom adopted it well before it was the norm.

Another commonality would be that they fall into a category often deemed “conscious hip-hop,” meaning that their lyrics are often politically relevant and/or speak to the greater good. It’s thinking man’s rap, a genre that is truly an important differentiation in the age of gangsta or misogynistic rap.

Headliners De La Soul have been blowing minds since the late ’80s, when their debut album 3 Feet High and Rising was hailed a masterpiece by hip-hop aficionados. Genuinely positive and playful at heart, De La Soul have been mainstays on the alternative hip-hop scene ever since.

De La Soul will be joined by Blackalicious, the California-based hip-hop duo that has always been respected for their intelligent and artistic approach to their craft.

Relatively new in the mix, Sage Francis (incidentally, one of the first hip-hop artists to sign with punk label Epitaph) is exciting for his ability to mix puns, metaphor, pop culture, and the occasional absurdist imagery into the fine art of hip-hop storytelling.

:: Paid Dues Festival ::
:: feat. De La Soul, Blackalicious, Sage Francis, Murs & 9th Wonder ::
:: Fillmore Auditorium :: June 13 ::

Recommended If You Like:
• Blackalicious
• Sage Francis
• De La Soul
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