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Cultivating the art of rhyme, off the cuff

Moe Joe’s, MC Nobody Really join forces to boost Whistler’s hip hop scene

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What: Whistler Rap Battles

When: Thursday, June 25, 10 p.m.

Where: Moe Joe's

Cost: $5

While there's an assortment of open mic and jam nights at Whistler venues that cater to acoustic musicians or bands, no one offers an evening for aspiring hip hoppers - at least until now.

Moe Joe's has stepped up to the plate to host a monthly rap battle, tentatively dubbed Whistler Rap Battles, hosted by none other than Whistler's favourite MC Nobody Really (a.k.a. Robbie Currie).

Currie recently relocated to Vancouver where he's been immersing himself in the city's hip hop scene while working away on his second album, which he's already started recording and plans to have released by the beginning of the winter season.

"It's definitely keeping me busy," he said. "I've been in the studio to do quite a few sessions already."

He hopes to feature other Canadian hip hop artists like Maestro Fresh Wes, Shad K, Red One and Classified.

But aside from his personal musical projects, Currie has also jumped headfirst into coordinating this monthly MC battle at Moe Joe's.

"I'm super excited about just kind of giving kids in Whistler a chance to perform. I know there are a lot of kids up there that rhyme and sing, and kids that are really interested in the hip hop scene," Currie said.

He recently sat down with the new owners of Moe Joe's to come up with some events to host. They all quickly realized that there was a huge void on the local scene when it comes to hip hop events.

Greg Britnell is one of the new owners and operators of Moe Joe's, though he's been the bar manager for years.

"It seems that most of the bar nights in town cater to music on the dance tip. There are nights dedicated to drum 'n' bass, house and electro, and top 40 party jams," Britnell said in an e-mail interview. "Why wouldn't there be a hip hop night? There are a lot of hip hop-heads in town, and they are predominantly Canadian. The house and electro movement that has been so evident here in Whistler is due mostly to the influence of visitors from overseas, specifically Britain, and Australia. In almost every other North American town, hip hop is probably the most popular genre of music that gets played in clubs and bars."

So, Moe Joe's has decided to step in and cater to that hip hop crowd, offering up the Thursday Hip Hop Night on a weekly basis, and Currie's Rap Battle once a month.

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