Tomorrow, I board yet another train and journey to a far away land known as Minneapolis. Unlike my other stops along the way though, I’m actually a bit nervous this time around. That's because every city left on my journey will be new to me, as I've never been west of Chicago. But, on the other hand, I find myself rather excited for the same exact reasons. This is what an adventure is all about—exploring new places, seeing new sights and experiencing new cultures.
On a very personal level, I’m thrilled to be venturing to Minneapolis for the first time. For those of you out there who don’t know, the Twin Cities are teeming with incredible indie hip-hop artists. It’s home to the likes of Atmosphere, Doomtree and Brother Ali and where you’ll find Rhymesayers Entertainment, First Avenue and the Soundset Hip Hop Festival. I’m not 100% sure why this city in particular has such a dense hip-hip scene, but there’s no denying that it’s one of the best in the country. What makes it even better is that most of the artists look out for one another and that’s something you don’t normally find in the world today.
But what do rappers have to do with the project? Well, these aren’t your ordinary musicians. They're individuals who’ve worked hard for their success and understand the importance of going the extra mile. Whether it’s playing unannounced shows in a parking lot or finding new ways to deliver music to fans, they understand the importance of creative marketing and thinking outside the box. Take the members of Doomtree for instance. They've built themselves into a collective, where every member has a role to play beyond their musical abilities. Some handle merchandise and social media, others the website and tour planning. It’s all about streamlining the process and doing things their own way. In the end, they’ve learned to balance business and creative with near perfect results and I consider that very inspiring.
So, just a forewarning to everyone out there. August is going to be a very musically-influenced month. I already grabbed a ticket to see two of my favorite artists (Sims and Astronautalis) and if all goes well, I’ll have a chance to interview them while I’m in town too. Even if you're not a hip-hop fan, their tight knit community is something that's very unique to Minneapolis. I think there's a lot to learn from how they do things and that's why I'm excited to delve right in.
Eight stops down. Six to go. I’m nervous. I’m excited. I wouldn’t have it any other way.