Hip-hop producers compete – and collaborate – at new monthly Ypsi event
Once a month, the sounds of locally created hip-hop music drift out of 734 Brewing‘s open doors during a new event series that gives audiences a front-row seat as local producers create, compete, and collaborate.
The event, called “The Plugin,” invites producers to create a brand new song from the same short sample of music. A panel of judges picks the best resulting work, and its creator receives a cash prize.
The event started off small in May, but word spread quickly. On July 13, the group of competitors had grown to 17, and the audience barely fit into the brewery and its outdoor beer garden space at 15 E. Cross St. in Ypsilanti.
The Plugin’s name was inspired by the many electrical plugs available at 734 Brewing, but it also refers to a chance for hip-hop content creators to “plug in” to the local music scene.
The series is the brainchild of Roderick Wallace, who in his day job serves as director of Eastern Michigan University’s (EMU) Upward Bound program. On the side, he’s also active with several music-related groups, including serving on the advisory board for Grove Studios and founding Double Negative People, a group of content creators, business owners, and artists looking to promote positivity and use hip-hop to address equity issues. Grove Studios and Double Negative People are co-sponsors of The Plugin.