“We got cookies. Cookies on ice.”
This isn’t a phrase that you would expect to hear anywhere, especially not at a hip-hop show. Yet here I stood at Amherst College’s Inaugural Fall Hip-Hop Festival and boy, did they have snacks. Hot apple cider, hot chocolate, open trays of cookies, and the aforementioned cookies on ice were in play for all who made it out this past cold, rainy Saturday, October 22.
The festival, which was being held indoors due to inclement weather, was the first ever hosted by Amherst College’s Hip Hop Club. Errat and Dro Brown, members of the local collective Dark World, opened the festivities with their typically rebellious set, as is supposedly true to form. Honestly, being new to the area and having heard about Dark World in passing, all while still not having heard them played at a function did not bode well. They did the thing, though. Got the small crowd of college-aged dudes slightly moving while the majority of people hung out near the outlets or swayed in the back. It was reminiscent of a slow night at an open mic I attend back home (shouts to Austin Mic Exchange).
I ended up leaving about half-way through the “fest” (hey, it started late), to walk around Amherst’s gorgeous campus for the first time. The view from the lookout point, overlooking the soccer, rugby, and baseball fields surpassed anything that was going on inside, save maybe the snacks. The idea of such an elite, privileged institution trying to engage with the art of hip-hop is intriguing to me. Traditionally a sound of revolt, revulsion, struggle, or flossing in spite of it all does not come to mind when thinking about the school or even the area. Nonetheless, It’s good to see a community there and I’ll certainly take advantage of all the free hot cider I can get my hands on.