Hey, just in case you forgot: There’s life after Thanksgiving. And, in case your memory really went kaput, there’s something in town called Last Saturdays, which features local(ish) hip-hop talent performing on the final Saturday of each month. This month, the event will move to That Cuban Place and it will feature Davon, from the Philly area, headlining, along with Scott Free, Knowledge, Stitch Early (heads-up: we’ll be reviewing his latest set next week) and a few others.
We recently had the chance to catch up with Davon in anticipation of the show and below is what we learned. Among the things we touch on are Frederick’s hip-hop scene, which hip-hop artists we should be paying attention to in the Philadelphia area, and, of course, what we can expect from this month’s Last Saturdays concert. Everything is set to go down at 9 p.m. Saturday. And as always, don’t be square, friends; be there.
Will this be your first time performing in Frederick?
Yes, this will be my first time. I travel here often, though, and really love the historical integrity of the city overall.
Do you think Frederick is ready to be a destination for original hip-hop? If yes, why? If not, why not?
It has potential seeing that there is some really amazing talent out of Maryland. However, realistically, you’d probably find a larger city to house original hip-hop. Much more diversity going on in the metropolitan areas.
Speaking of being a destination for hip-hop, how is your rap scene in the Philadelphia and New Jersey area? Who are some artists we should be listening to in Frederick that we might not already know about?
The rap scene around my area is pretty cluttered. There’s a lot of great artists who are just looking to be heard. This is where doing your best to be original with your craft comes into play. A lot of people can rap really well, but I think you need much more than just that element to be discovered nowadays. I don’t know many artists directly from Frederick, but I’m a huge fan of the local DMV scene, including artists like yU, Kev Brown, Minus Nine, Oddisee, just to name a few, though I’m sure everyone is already aware of them. (If not, you can find most of them on my upcoming LP, “Donnie Darko”). As far as from around Philadelphia/South Jersey, I’d say keep a look out for Mic Stew, The Bul Bey, Ground Up, Skrewtape, and of course, our local legends like Reef, The Lost Cauze and Freeway.
How did you get involved with the Last Saturdays and hip-hop night here in Frederick? Were you seeking out places to play in Frederick or did someone approach you?
My manager, Jennifer Alyse Herman, is from Frederick, and actually thought to reach out and have me be a part of this night, which I’m truly grateful and excited for. It’s always great to get out of your area and be able to spread your music and a positive message.
Who are your five most influential MCs and why?
Nas, Black Thought, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and Asher Roth are my top five at the moment. Though that’s subject to change with the way music is released nowadays. Specifically, I enjoy them because they’re all so incredibly different from one another while still keeping the real element of hip-hop alive, which is the lyrical aspect of it. Each one of them has the ability to paint such a vivid image through their words to the point where I can actually visualize it, which is something I really strive for when I write.
What are some ways you think a young, upcoming hip-hop scene can help grow and flourish?
By helping each other out. Everyone is so focused on their own grind that we forget to look around and motivate each other to be better in a positive way. We need each other in order to excel in this industry, so I’d love to see MCs coming together more in an attempt to make a difference rather than just be the best.
What advice would you give guys who are trying to build a hip-hop scene in this area?
Keep striving and ensure that everything that stands for your area is undeniably great. If you want a scene to flourish, everything must be properly nurtured and maintained. And that goes not only for the artists, but promoters and venues as well.
What can we expect from your performance here in Frederick?
Passion and excitement. It’s a blessing to be able to do this, so I treat every performance like I have everything to gain and nothing to lose. It’s going to be a good time, and hopefully inspire people to want to continue their journey.