The hip-hop community was alive and well Saturday, August 27 in Fountain Square. What is usually a mundane tourist attraction was transformed into a thriving metropolis of modern day poets. This event, of course, was Chreece. Chreece’s inaugural session was last year. It was welcomed with love and support, and was regarded as an outstanding success.
After the fantastic feedback from Chreece the year previous, Oreo Jones and his group “No Bad Ideas” came back with Chreece II. While some venues were not jam packed, the energy of the performers had the floor bouncing like a trampoline. Chreece II was far from perfect, but that was not what the day was about. The day was about energy, hip hop and pure fun.
At 3:30 p.m., IUPUI’s very own Apex jumped onto the stage inside of Joyful Noise Recording. Sporting a vintage Lakers cap and a tattered shirt that read “I ran away to chase my dreams,” Apex gave the crowd an energy-filled show. He was adamant about getting the crowd into it, encouraging them to jump and yell along with the beat. Regardless of the crowd size Apex was energized, as were the people around him. The smaller crowd was buzzing like the inside of Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.
Outside of Joyful Noise, the streets of Indianapolis were buzzing. The DJs outside were spinning remixes to popular songs, which encouraged everyone to dance and sing along. Every single person outside was smiling and laughing, regardless of the harsh temperature. The sheer joy of the occasion took everyone’s mind off of the sweltering heat. One of the largest venues for the day was the Hoosier Dome, a hefty ten block walk. Though the stroll from the square to the Hoosier Dome was a bit out of the way, those embarking on the voyage seemed delighted.
Heyzeus jumped on the stage inside the Hoosier Dome at 4:10 p.m. to a small crowd of 18 people, including Oreo Jones, and two DJs behind him. Sporting a pink hat and Vans, Heyzeus put on a show that was far from lowkey. His bass shook the venue, worrying the crowd that the rickety walls may collapse around them. His smooth voice coupled with the loud bass and groovy rhythm made for quite a show, as those in attendance nodded along to the beat. Much like Apex, Heyzeus was a fantastic stage personality. More often than not had his tongue out, dancing to the beat.
Back at Joyful Noise, Andy D prepared to take the stage. His wardrobe seemed as though he had dumped a donation box on himself and worn whatever landed on him. He was sporting a jean jacket with the sleeves cut off, highlighter shorts, and, naturally, a fanny pack.
His wife Anna Vision and fellow performer was also dressed somewhat outlandishly, as she looked like a character out of Robin Hood. In direct correlation with their outfits, the lyrics that came next were almost nonsensical. But, being the great on stage personality that he is, Andy D jumped down from the stage and got in with the crowd.
He was sure to look every audience member in the eye, whether it be from three feet or three inches away. Those in attendance looked genuinely happy, swaying along and laughing. He had quite a following, as that room was the fullest of the day up to that point. He truly put on a memorable show full of questionable lyrics and unquestionable hilarity.
Nearly an hour later Mula Kahn took stage in the Hoosier Dome. And he definitely put on a show to remember. In the words of fellow rapper Kc’Ondris, “It was lit. It was crazy. He is the Wave Lord.” As the strobe lights flashed and the rhythm quickened its pace, the crowd’s anticipation grew.
When the bass finally dropped, the crowd of roughly twenty people moshed together in the center of the dancefloor. It was chaos, it was unruly and it was lit. What made this performance different from the others throughout the day is that Mula Khan decided to join the crowd during the performance. These moments truly describe the Chreece message: bringing and celebrating the hip-hop to the people of Indianapolis.
Shortly thereafter he invited the people of the crowd to join him on stage. Twenty plus observers jumped back and forth on stage as Mula Khan performed his final song. One could truly feel the energy of the performance, not only through the performance, but the crowd as well.
Outside of the venues, a true embodiment of Chreece took place. In the middle of Fountain Square there was a white canvas with the words “Chreece II” and two fists, one facing upwards and one downward. When the day started the canvas was only that, a white canvas. Throughout the day several people painted it, literally and figuratively, with quotes, pictures, and Twitter handles. Without the people, the canvas is just a blank and lifeless idea.
However, whenever the people contributed to the canvas it became something of beauty. It seemed as if everyone was invested in the judgement-free, loving event that is and was Chreece. It was best said by an earlier performer, Apex who agreed, saying that, “The energy is just so exciting. The atmosphere is so nice, everybody is just a big creative family coming together. We aren’t with that dividing shit, just a big family.”
“Chreece II,” like the first installment, came and went. Those who were not in attendance cannot understand the impact and the energy that was felt. People returned back from where they came, the streets cleared and the venues were cleaned out. However, the memory of Chreece II did not leave the streets of Fountain Square Plaza. As those who attended settled in for the evening, they can only have smiled reminiscing on the events of the day. It was truly a community affair and a great way to spend a Saturday.