Hip-hop fanciers converge

Rapper Burnablocc kicked off the #TopekaTape block party Saturday (ELLEN FIKE/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL)

Hip-hop fanciers converge

Rappers such as Mike Schpitz, Pedro Bizz Juanjulio and The Skeptics played for fans
August 24, 2014

Hot temperatures didn't keep hip-hop music fans from gathering outside of Speck's Bar and Grill, 2105 S.W. Mission, Saturday evening for the #TopekaTape block party.

The artists, such as Wonderboi and Andy $av, were originally featured on the #TopekaTape mixtape, which was released in mid-June. The mixtape was intended to showcase the different musical talents of various hip-hop artists who were from Topeka.

Rapper and Topeka native Mike Jones, who raps as "Mike Schpitz," helmed the mixtape and worked to plan the block party. Jones traveled from his home in Chicago to host and perform at the concert.

The show kicked off at 5:30 p.m., with Burnablocc being the first rapper to go onstage.

"I'm surprised people are here this early," Jones said, noting the heat advisory for the city. "It's only going to grow. The energy is staying up, so I'm excited right now."

A diverse crowd of men, women and children were in attendance. Since the show had free admission and was all-ages, people were ready for drinking, music and food. One parental pair even brought their baby, who was equipped with large, fitted headphones.

Many of the people in attendance were not only fans, they also worked to promote the event by word-of-mouth and posting online. Marcy Gonzalez, for example, has been working with the artists since last year. He made a documentary about the mixtape in the weeks before and after it was released.

"Each artist has given their opinions about the local hip-hop scene and they're own perspectives," he said about the documentary.

Williams Science and Fine Arts paraprofessional Brandon Evans, who raps as Pedro Bizz Juanjulio, and Stik Figa were the headliners for the show.