The hip-hop beat 

‘Children of the Corn’ plant seeds

Collaboration is crucial to building a thriving, respected hip-hop community, with artists helping each other accomplish what they couldn’t do alone. This mentality has no better example than the “Children of the Corn” project being masterminded by Justice League member and Wormusic founder Richard Cook.

The producer/emcee is organizing an album featuring production and rhymes from a diverse selection of Indianapolis artists, with lively recording sessions happening almost every week. While the project features many combinations of artists who have never previously recorded together, the majority of the tracks still manage to have a consistent energy and cohesive sound, making an argument that Naptown really does have its own sound when it comes to hip-hop. The roster thus far includes diverse acts like Butterfly Toungz, Ace One, WhoIsLouis and s.C.r.i.b.e. It’s shaping up to be a who’s who of active area rappers and beat-makers.

There’s still time to participate in this historic recording before its scheduled release this summer. Hit up

Speak out, youth

The 17th Annual Etheridge Knight Festival, named in honor of the famed Indiana poet, will host this year’s Po-Rap-Try showcase in the auditorium of the newly renovated Central Library (40 E. St. Clair St.) Saturday, April 12 at 2 p.m. Po-Rap-Try is a consistently impressive event featuring powerful music, poetry, dance and rap performances that happen to come from elementary and high school students.

The Etheridge Knight Festival also presents an open mic the first Friday of each month, hosted by Mijiza Yaa Soyini, at Earth House Coffee and Books, located in the back of Lockerbie Central United Methodist Church (237 N. East St.).

Conscious in the city

A great event is going down at Therapy Nightclub (605 E. Market St.) Friday, April 11 titled “Love, Peace, & Conscious Soul.” This event will showcase some of the freshest emerging talent, and in particular a dope cat I just discovered named M2 that I’ll definitely have to start checking for. There will also be many established artists, including Fire Arms, aLLEN iMAGERY, Son of Thought, CYMplyCITY, DJ Adam Jay and many of the B-Boys and B-Girls that have been rocking the city for years. Add to that Reverend D. Ajabu, and you’ve got a mind-inspiring, body-moving night, all for $5.

Brookinz beats ’um up

There’s a difference between cheesy keyboard beats and true hip-hop production, and most casual listeners will go for the good stuff. But there’s nothing casual about the production acumen of J. Brookinz, who has won yet another remix contest, this time for the Nas track “Surviving the Times.” Brookinz keeps it tight for the hometown scene as well, providing original, energetic beats to a wide range of Naptown’s best crews.

Brookinz has a good amount of work available online, including his remix album of Jay-Z’s American Gangster, featuring samples from ’80s songs.

Other notable events

The Cool Kids are coming to the Vogue (6259 N. College Ave.) Sunday, April 20 at 8:30 p.m. This crew out of Chicago has been gaining much acclaim and momentum lately, and will stop by Indy before hitting this summer’s festival circuit. The Cool Kids sound consists of beats with a retro feel but modern creativity against lyrics boasting about everything from BMX bikes to action figures. Yes, the ’80s babies have taken over. This should be a good show.

If you happen to find yourself among the melee of a Broad Ripple Friday night, escape the lines and corny DJs and hit up Grand Groove with Nap’s king of the wheels, DJ TopSpeed, at the Midtown Grill (815 E. Westfield Blvd.). It might just become your favorite spot.

Still hip-hop related, the creators of Peel Magazine, Dave and Holly Combs, are having a booksigning for their Peel: The Art of the Sticker April 12 at Northside News (5406 N. College Ave.) from 8-12 p.m. The book features highlights from the first eight issues of their magazine, which have completely sold out. These guys have been working hard to put Indy on the street-art map.

And once again, keep me updated on what you and your crew are up to … Peace out!

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