With hip hop seemingly all the rage in local circles at the moment, what with the recent launch of RTBF’s dedicated hip hop radio Tarmac / The New Playground, it was only a question of time before an exhibition dedicated to the art form’s many formations saw the light of day. And so it is with Bozar’s summer show YO! Brussels Hip Hop Generation, which opens to the public this Wednesday 28th June. Here, we breakdown the exhibition – which reads more like a festival – in five essential points.
Five essential reasons why this summer’s Bozar exhibition dedicated to Brussels’ burgeoning hip hop culture is a must for your cultural calendar:
- An exhibition retracing Brussels’ hip hop movement, placing it in a wider, more global context and documenting 35 years in local swagger. Taking in the genre’s four main disciplines – graffiti, DJing, BBing and MCing – the show draws on photographs, artefacts, promotional material and merchandising to capture a crucial layer of the Brussels underground.
- Running parallel to the main exhibition, a summer-long program of performances, battles, workshops and debates will be rolled out to guarantee a bit of substance is brought to the table. Top of the list: local BBoy gone worldwide Yassin Mrabtifi’s performance from Molenbeek with Love, a workshop organised by Back in the Dayz (the management imprint behind Hamza, Romeo Elvis, La Smala and Convok to name a few) and Yo! Word is Born, a series of debates (“Hip Hop at Bozar? Seriously?!” being only one of them).
- Guided tours throughout the city, organised by non-profit Fais le Trottoir, taking guests on a whirlwind promenade around the city through some of its most iconic graffiti murals. Hosted by some of the local scene’s most well-known names, the series of walks promises to reveal the city under a different light.
- An outdoor space, located on the little square just outside Bozar’s main entrance, set to include a bar, a skating ramp and, wait for it, a pool (the latter hosted by Pool is Cool). Not too sure what a pool has to do with hip hop, other than their de-facto presence alongside scantily-clad women in a good percentage of music videos but, heck, we get a pool out of it.
- A series of live broadcasts, hosted by Bruzz who brings three of its most iconic radio shows – Frontal (Zwangere Guy and the likes), Bumrush (Rival and his CNN consorts) and Supafly (the women-only collective with Fatosan and family) – directly to the people.