Though local hip-hop raconteur and OnMilwaukee.com contributor JC Poppe has put an end to his Milwaukee UP blog chronicling Brew City hip-hop, thankfully he's staying the course with his ongoing series of mega-gigs to raise money for great causes.
Hip-Hop Hates Illiteracy takes place Friday. April 6 at the Cactus Club, on the corner of Wentworth and Russell in Bay View.
"Illiteracy, or limited literacy, is something that affects people of all races and religious backgrounds, and it can be absolutely crushing to those with dreams of obtaining a better life and absolutely IS crushing to children and immigrants," says Poppe.
"Being able to read is a fundamental element of education and advancement, and reading is a personal joy of mine. At this time I felt there was no better cause to support."
Proceeds from the gig will benefit Literacy Services of Wisconsin, which is headquartered in Downtown Milwaukee.
Doors open at 9 p.m. and the suggested donation at the door is $5 but larger donations are certainly encouraged. Gently used books at any reading level and lightly used reading glasses of any strength will also be collected at the event.
Performing onstage at the gig are Pizzle, Ray Nitti, Blizz McFly and C-Piepz.
Here's what Poppe has to say about the performers:
"Recently Pizzle has been gaining ground in popularity with the successful release of his album 'Fame in Vain' and his follow up mixtape 'Insomnia.' Pizzle, who is of course one half of rappers found on the song 'Green and Yellow' with Prophetic, has released some buzzworthy singles with Gerald Walker and Rico Love in the past months and has even had his music posted on XXLmag.com.
"Ray Nitti is a name that has been synonymous with the club scene after breaking into the mainstream with his hit song 'Bow.' Currently, the rapper has been searching himself for the right path to follow musically and that has led a more serious tone in his music. Either way, club Ray or introspective Ray, the rapper has a talent that people gravitate towards.
"Blizz McFly is a young, up-and-coming rapper that released two very quality albums last year. Part of the very talented SAFS Crew that also includes artists like Klassik, Blizz displays skill, swagger and a surprising amount of depth in his tunes. As far as the new school goes in Milwaukee, Blizz McFly is one of the names that you need to know and should always be on the look out for.
"C-Piepz is another young artist that has been grinding away since high school. The rapper/singer that is now in his early 20s has seen his music embraced by Milwaukee's Top 40 station KISS FM and has a fun music video shot in Hawaii under his belt. Similar to the current mainstream style that artists like Drake and J Cole use, C-Piepz has a dedicated group of followers that appreciate his clean but fun and often fast paced music."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.