Hip-Hop and lyricism used as an outlet to engage in current issues plaguing society appears to be the choice of many young writers on both coasts. As a staple in the underground music culture since the 70’s and now peaking at a mainstream level, Hip-Hop has had the power to reach many of the world's youth, especially those in areas of economic hardship. So when a Hip-Hop artist uses his or her reach to make an impact on young minds through creative and engaging storytelling techniques, the Noisy Cavern is ready to get behind them.
Episode 3 of the Noisy Cavern Music Sessions featured LA based Hip-Hop artist, Andrew “Fig” Figueroa, who impressed the team with the captivating way he shared his stories using the infusion of theatrics, and soulful instrumental music full of piercing beats and stimulating hooks.
As a genre that typically incorporates four key elements into its subculture; graffiti, breakdancing, mcing, and djing, Fig took a different approach that has added another element. He follows in the direction paved by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and that is incorporating Hip-Hop with theatre production. Born out of an Amherst college thesis project, Figueroa, along with partner Gerald Watkins, were given the opportunity by alumni Alisson Smart to take their Mixed-Race Mixtape show on the road. They are giving students across the states a chance to experience a show about mixed Chicano identity (story of Figs life) all while a rap concept album is performed on stage. Now, unfortunately Figs performance on the music sessions did not incorporate his entire MRMT project, but the team was given a glimpse of how fascinating an actual show could be, especially considering the passion and charisma radiated by Fig.
The performance featured seven tracks which included songs from his Mixed-Race Mixed-Tape project. The track list in order performed include 1) Tale 2) Tongue Tied 3) Shortcut 4) Raw Raw 5) A Freestyle 6) Blankets in Amherst, and 7) Until I see ya'll. Make sure you check out the episode to get a glimpse of what was showcased on Episode 3.
For more on the show, stream it on soundcloud!