Six One Flow: Reppin’ Columbus Right
By Xavier Veccia
Columbus isn’t quite the hip-hop mecca that, say, Chicago or Atlanta is. In fact, most citizens of Ohio’s capitol probably can’t even name a rapper currently representing 614’s streets. However, as Columbus’ art scene grows, so does its hip-hop scene.
BravoArtist took notice, and they’ve created a stage for the buzzing local rap community to thrive. Six One Flow, a budding monthly tradition, is as much a gathering of like-minded artists as it is as a showcase of local talent. Like a poetry slam, where connecting is as important as performing, Six One Flow aims to feed the hungry hip-hop-heads of Ohio with a balanced diet of fresh-squeezed bars and a big bowl of hype.
“The purpose of Six One Flow is to create a local hip-hop experience that everyone’s stoked for, performers and attendants alike,” said Christian Cabreja, production assistant/talent buyer at BravoArtist and creator of Six One Flow.
One of the ways that Cabreja drums up excitement for the shows is by inviting hip-hop artists from differing stylistic camps, representing much of the city’s hip-hop scene. At the inaugural show in October, artists included the melodic Yogi Split, the abrasive TRIBE and the hazy Dutchii.
“There’s so much cool stuff happening in different circles of the city’s hip-hop community,” said Cabreja, 21. “I wanted to bring a small piece of all those circles together and, ideally, create outlets for everyone to meet some new people, find a new favorite local artist, meet a future collaborator in a creative endeavor or get introduced to the scene altogether.”
For performers, it’s enticing to be a part of something with facets and variance.
“Everybody’s different here. And that’s the thing, you go see something different every time you’re out,” said OG Vern. He went from spectating last month to performing this past weekend.
OG Vern, 19, has been rapping in Columbus for three years now, but it wasn’t until the last year that he became more involved in the local scene. Same could be said about Kid Crave, another rapper that took the stage on Saturday at Double Happiness, who’s been rapping for six years but was less involved until the last two.
“I’m very glad I made that transition from being so introverted, because it’s opened a lot of doors for me and allowed me to meet a lot of awesome people,” said Crave, 23.
Ultimately, that’s the atmosphere Six One Flow is trying to nurture, allowing artists to mingle and collaborate in new, unique ways. However, at the end of the day, this is also a show, meaning music and performances are at the center of the event. Both OG Vern and Kid Crave were looking forward to taking the stage.
“I go all-out for every set, whether it’s for ten people or 400, because it’s what I truly love to do,” said Crave, who performed material off his experimental new album LeftSeyed. “I’m very excited to perform as well as to watch the other amazing artists on the bill.”
“I’m always prepared, always ready to get back on the stage,” said OG Vern, representing a grimey sort of boom-bap. “By the end of the night, by the end of my performance when I get off the stage, I’m getting up there so that you know who I am afterwards.”
“I may be biased, but in my opinion Columbus has one of the most overlooked art scenes in the US,” said Crave. “There’s so much diversity not only musically, but across all platforms that it’d be pretty difficult to not find something you like.”
Maybe he is biased, but maybe he’s right. Six One Flow’s still in its infant stages, but it’s already shedding light on an eclectic and experimental scene that rarely gets proper recognition. And with lofty goals, such as pairing rappers with bands, hosting producer round tables and live poetry slams, the sky’s the limit for Six One Flow and the hub of hip-hop creators it highlights.