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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014

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Milwaukee's Scott Knoxx has the music and event marketing down to a science.
Milwaukee's Scott Knoxx has the music and event marketing down to a science.

Buzzworthy Milwaukee music

Milwaukee is a Midwestern gem, a city known best by the people who endure the temperamental weather. They know that this city is full of musical talent and entertainment that has been brewing, creating a buzz all its own.

If you would ask a hip-hop lover if local artists have a distinct sound many would say yes, and it is true. What I have discovered is that Milwaukee has a sound that is extremely unique to this region, and to the Midwest. Heavy beats full of base, drum samples, and studio genius are the major elements that come to mind. While the majority of the artists are community super stars other regions are starting to take notice.

Milwaukee is suspended in the middle of the Great Lakes region, with Detroit to our East and Chicago to our south, Minneapolis to our west. Those are the cities that have countless emerging artists that have made it beyond their city limits and now Milwaukee's got next.

Sounds penetrating the airwaves and lyrics from emcees that make you want to get up and move. One popular Milwaukee artist that has seen success outside of this market while representing the "414" is Ray Nitti. His music has an appeal that is liked by the southern regions and has a general mass appeal. Though not born and raised in Milwaukee, St. Thomas Virgin Islands, being his first home, Nitti possesses a certain quality that has everyone dancing to "BOW."

Nitti's is the kind of sound that radio programmers are looking for, and for the most part Milwaukee has mastered it. There are reasons for this mastery, while Milwaukee is more known for its beer than its music, artists and music lovers alike have always relied on other cities to produce those hits. In terms of hip-hop music, if you listen to the Milwaukee sound, it will give you a little bit of each region. The bass lines and 808's, a sound that was perfected in the south, soul beat samples, that comes from cities like Detroit and Chicago, lyrics about making money can be attributed to…

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Bands like A Tribe Called Quest were hip-hop pioneers and a driving force in the genre.
Bands like A Tribe Called Quest were hip-hop pioneers and a driving force in the genre.

A hip-hop down memory lane

I am not quite sure when I became a fan of hip-hop music, but it is something that has always been apart of my life.

I pride myself on my love for music of all genres (a credit I give to both of my parents) but there is something that always brings me back to hip-hop.

I love the feeling, the sound, the techniques, the style, the depth and the purpose of it. I love the looks on everyone's face when a DJ plays that song that takes them back to one of their favorite moments in time; a house party, school dance, summertime in the park, your first date, first kiss, first time hearing the song that will forever play in your heart.

It has been said that scent is tied to memory, so is music. If the volume is loud enough you can actually disappear and become one with the beat. This is the feeling that I seek every time I turn on the radio, and to my dissatisfaction it only comes once in a blue moon.

My father was a radio personality and music programmer for radio stations across the nation as well as a famed author and radio programming coach.

My mother was a reggae disc jockey in the Bay Area. On Saturdays our house would be full of sounds from Peter Tosh to Luther Vandross, Prince and A Tribe Called Quest, but I will never forget how I felt inside when I heard the neighborhood D-boys roll down the street to "Jam On It" or the crazy sensation to move when "Sucker MC's came on the radio.

Yes, I was young, but I was aware then of the power of music and how the right baseline and drumbeat could make you take action.

As I grew so did the movement. In fourth grade I remember coming home every day and dancing like crazy to Public Enemy "Fight the Power." I remember the first time I heard "Bonita Applebum" by A Tribe Called Quest and I still can "Humpty Dance" with the best of them.

All of these memories of music remind me of a time when music was fun and exploding with positive energy. This was a movement that was global with no signs of …

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