Blue Church seeks to fill niche in community
This Saturday the Blue Church in East Wheeling will be home to a Homegrown Hip-Hop show that will feature several young artists from the Wheeling community. The concert begins at 7 p.m.
Hip-Hop is making its triumphant return to the Ohio Valley. The genre has been on its deathbed locally, but recently there has been a “movement” to get it back up on its feet. The Valley has been fertile ground creatively for several years for all different types of music: Rock, Folk, Metal, and quite obviously Country. Now it looks as if Hip-Hop is finally going to get its turn.
The Valley has Hip Hop roots!
In the early ’90s, a local artist named MC Hans was one of the first to put the local scene on his back. After him, the scene was left to locals to fight for regional fame. Then came Slick Watts. Slick was a local MC out of Martins Ferry, who set the local and national scene on fire. Slick inspired this current school of artists and provided the blueprint to success, now led by artists like Ponce De’Leioun, Y-N-C, and JAG Da Apostle. Now the field is fertile with a bevy of artists like LaRon, Elias The Profit, J-Nice, Kelz, LOE, Poetic Peth, and many others. With the exception of The Stone Bridge in Bellaire Ohio, local venues have treated Hip-Hop like the plague. There were a few shows here and there, but the stigma and misconceptions about the artists and the crowd they would bring, made developing a music scene next to impossible.
Enter the new interest group that wants to reinvent and revitalize Wheeling. They aren’t afraid of progress, pre-conceived ideas, and most definitely, change. They have ushered in a mindset that is attempting to include everyone. Venues like The Blue Church in East Wheeling, The Strand Theater in Moundsville, and The Recreation Center in St. Clairsville have all shown a renewed interest and belief in Hip-Hop as a whole and the artists as individuals.
“Wheeling Heritage bought the church with the intention of saving its architecture for the community and building a place where art that has no other home in the community can find its place; it is perfect that hip-hop finds its home in East Wheeling at our building,” said Jeremy Morris, executive director of the Wheeling National Heritage Area.
So who is helping Mastermind this Hip Hop Reinvention?
Ronald Scott Jr. is a counselor at Youth Services Systems (YSS). It is a community mental health agency that primarily serves children until the ages of 18. He is also the founder of an organization called The Ohio Valley African American Students Association or OVAASA. The mission and purpose of the Ohio Valley African American Students Association is to promote educational achievement, higher learning, and scholastic opportunities for the African American students in the Ohio Valley. We created a division of OVAASA called The Movement. It addresses the artistic and creative side of the students, where OVAASA deals directly with academics and higher education. Addressing the growing artistic community and the focus on Hip-Hop, we developed a concert series. We are starting with our show on Saturday Oct. 10that the Blue Church
Homegrown Hip Hop shines at The Blue Church
There will be a performance from three area artists: I.A.N., an incredibly talented MC, who is a freshman at Wheeling Park High School; Corey Vance: a multitalented young man with a voice and musical abilities that this Valley hasn’t seen before; and Poetic Peth, a homegrown talent that is promising to be the new face of local Hip-Hop.
The concert starts at 7 p.m., and the doors open at 6 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door.