Canterbury Downs is synonymous with horse racing, Shakopee, and suburbia. Definitely not the place you would expect to find over 15,000 people intent on listening to independent hip-hop for 8 hours. That, my friends, is the beauty of Minnesota and Soundset.
Local label, Rhymesayers Entertainment, put on Soundset for the first time last year outside the Metrodome: urban Minneapolis being the perfect place to celebrate Twin Cities’ local artists. Thanks to a holiday weekend and America’s favorite pastime, the Twins took over the area and Soundset ’09 was relocated to Shakopee. Even with this switch, the crowds were massive and the acts were on it. If rhymes are candy and Soundset is a store, then thousands of fans were the proverbial kid. With over 30 artists, a B-Boy and B-Girl battle going on, tagging, and 3rd Lair skating it was easy to get lost in the music and the crowd. The Fifth Element Stage was home to friend of The Dustbowl, Kristoff Krane, as well as Heiruspecs, Cunninlynguists, Sims (from Doomtree fame), Blue Scholars, and many more. The Main Stage connected the coasts with Haiku D’Etat representing the West and Immortal Technique and Sage Francis reppin’ the East. Don’t fret, Midwest pride was strong with Brother Ali, P.O.S., Atmoshpere, and Eyedea & Abilities enchanting the crowd: all of it so very good. There’s a lot more to be said about Soundset but I’m personally very happy to have been introduced to Eyedea & Abilites and am looking forward to the drop of their new album, By The Throat, on July 21st. Rhymesayers and Soundset are definitely putting Minnesota, or as I like to call it Money$ota, on the hip-hop map.