10 at 10 aims to break the stereotypes surrounding the hip hop community in Calgary
When Beni Johnson moved to Calgary in 2005 he attended multiple events around the city that catered to the local hip-hop culture.
Initially Johnson noticed the misconceptions people had towards the local untapped musical culture of hip-hop in Calgary.
As Johnson mentioned, people stereotyped Calgary’s hip hop culture as gangs and violent acts.
“10 at 10 is a music and cultural platform dedicated to showcasing, building, and redefining Calgary’s hip hop community. As a major platform it’s trying to get people to understand that and see the artists that are already here in our backyard,” says Johnson.
The performances during 10 at 10 features 10 hip hop artists performing for 10 minutes, and showcases additional dancers and dance groups.
Johnson started his event 10 at 10 in 2011. The event is for anyone to come, encourage and be a part of the hip-hop culture. 10 at 10 invites anyone interested in a live performance that is not just limited to rapping and DJ artistry, but to listen and be enhanced in R&B / Soul singing, African dance to the "Whip Nae Nae," artwork and freestyle cyphers
With an average of 300 people in attendance at each 10 at 10 event, members of the community have a common and positive meeting space for them to showcase their talent.
Four years into the making, a positive outlook on the hip-hop culture is forming, according to Ruben Young who has worked alongside Johnson in the music industry and during Young’s own 50 Days YYC music festival.
“10 at 10 breathes hip-hop culture into Calgary by allowing talent to shine, people to come together and by creating experiences that include music, dance, education, film and more. Hip-hop isn't just something you listen to; it is something you experience and 10 at 10 is the best way to experience Calgary hip hop,” said Young.
Johnson is continually seeking to encourage the growth of the hip hop community and improve hip hop’s standing in Calgary.
- By Natalie Holland and Savaya Shinkaruk