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Author: Erin Bloodgood

You Gotta Be You: Rue the Poet’s positive message and empowering music

Full of life with a constant stream of energy, Lamont LaRue Combs is an outgoing musician with an overwhelmingly positive outlook on the world around him. Better known by his stage name, Rue the Poet has begun to make his mark on Milwaukee through his hip-hop lyrics. Combs uses his words to inspire his audience by rapping about his experiences in hopes that others can relate to him. By telling his truth to the world, he believes he can affect his listeners in a positive way and learn from their feedback. “Music saves lives,” he said. “Your message is...

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Shawna Nicols: Daring to be her best self

With an energetic, outgoing, and positive personality, Shawna Nicols is the kind of person who gives praise to others before accepting any for herself. Regardless of what she is doing, family is always a top priority in her life. A Milwaukee native, Nicols started her career as a professional basketball player but after an injury, she found a new passion in music. For the past 12 years, Nicols – also known by her stage name DJ Shawna – has learned the art of DJing and has used that skill to project a positive message to her audience. She has...

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For the love of family, music, and basketball

With an energetic, outgoing, and positive personality, Shawna Nicols is the kind of person who gives praise to others before accepting any for herself. Regardless of what she is doing, family is always a top priority in her life. A Milwaukee native, Nicols started her career as a professional basketball player but after an injury, she found a new passion in music. For the past 12 years, Nicols – also known by her stage name DJ Shawna – has learned the art of DJing and has used that skill to project a positive message to her audience. She has...

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Photo Essay: Opening night performances from Milwaukee’s inaugural Hip-Hop Week

“It’s Hip-Hop Week in the City of Milwaukee, ya’ll.” – Ashanti Hamilton Milwaukee’s first ever Hip-Hop Week began on August 20, with the intention of celebrating and supporting the artists and musicians of Milwaukee. Hip-Hop is not just a music genre, it is a culture that is often underrepresented at Milwaukee’s larger festivals like Summerfest. But this year, the city is showing artists of color in the Hip-Hop scene how important they are and the value of the potential they have. The week opened at the Miller High Life Theater with a Hip-Hop Showcase and the keynote speaker Rico...

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Hip Hop as a Tool for Resilience in Milwaukee

It is hard for people to tell their stories if no one wants to listen. Individuals with hardships have no platform other than the news media to explain how the system treated them unfairly. Everyone has a different outlet for self-expression in private, but entrenched in Milwaukee’s neighborhoods are artists that use music, poetry, and visual arts as a way to tell a deeper story to the public. Whether it is the fashion they decide to wear, the rhythms they string together, or the way they sway their hips to the beat, every choice has a history and meaning...

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2nov12:00 pm- 2:00 pmGrand Hop-Ening Kickoff

10nov10:00 am- 7:00 pm88Nine Labs: Music Hackathon

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