Columbia's budding local hip-hop music scene will be celebrated Nov. 15 at the Columbia Museum of Art during the Arts and Draughts festival with local artist and producer FatRat Da Czar.
The Arts and Draughts event was a gathering of art, beer and music to celebrate the release of Czar's ninth studio album "Tribe," which encompasses a number of local rappers and musicians.
Czar will perform at the event with a lineup of six other local rappers, several of which are featured on the album.
Columbia Museum of Art's director of education and engagement Jackie Adams said Arts and Draught is excited to have “Tribe” because of the diversity behind the album and the number of performers involved, making the event "like a concert within a concert.”
“Having 'Tribe' come in ... is pretty great, because this guest has fans already, but we're looking to always increase inclusion and diversity,” Adams said.
Czar, who has opened for acts such as Snoop Dog and Lauryn Hill, is a loyal member of the Columbia music scene. He has spent years recording, producing and performing hip-hop in South Carolina.
“I pioneered a generation [of hip-hop]," Czar said. "Hip-hop kinda changed. I came through in the '90s. We pioneered a lot of entrepreneurial spirit and independence.”
As someone who has been around the hip-hop movement since a young age, Czar represents a large part of the industry in Columbia. Czar recalled his early beginnings in the hip-hop industry, when he used to hang out with his high school friend and rapper, Mookie, in his garage.
“He used to record his demos in his garage, and I would pretty much just hang out down there trying to be around it, be around the rapping and the hip-hop, primarily the rapping," Czar said.
One day, Mookie asked if he wanted to be in a song.
"It was the beginning of something new," Czar said.
Now, with nearly three decades of hip-hop experience under his belt, he is no longer the young rapper hanging out in a garage. With the release of his new album "Tribe" Nov. 12, he said he wants to both celebrate the growing hip-hop scene in South Carolina and raise awareness of many other local artists.
“I decided to double it not only as a release party for my album, but to bring in some talent, statewide, young and older ... to not only celebrate the release with me, but just collaborate on a great show. The album was very collaborative, almost 30 features and 10 different producers, and so I wanted that same vibe in the live setting of the release,” Czar said.
In both North and South Carolina, there has been a notable stimulation of hip-hop with the birth of a number of celebrities and influential music. These include DaBaby from Charlotte, YBN Cordrea from Raleigh, Childish Major from Edgeville, South Carolinian producer Supah Mario and DaBaby’s Columbia-based producer JetsonMade, and show the Carolinas' hip-hop scene is developing and gaining in popularity.
Czar not only works to create music but to extend the local presence and reach to the national audience.
"Simply put, it just wasn’t our time, but now it is," Czar said. "Our contributions have been significant to the national scene."
Czar said he hopes local hip-hop artists and producers will gain more recognition through this album release event.
“To the fans of FatRat Da Czar and South Carolina hip-hop, I think now, 2020, obviously the number should be the year of the best vision, right? So, I think if people focus in on some of this homegrown talent that we are cultivating, I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that we have some really good stuff,” Czar said.