Entertainment, Marquee

Hip Hop on High Street brings art form downtown

Lamar Riddick, Quie and Sòl Vibe will bring their style of hip hop to the staircase of the Foundry Church at 8 p.m. Aug. 2, when Revive Collective Music, Riddick’s music company, hosts Hip Hop on High Street.

Riddick said that the perception of hip hop has a “negative connotation” and he wants to change that. The main goal of the event is to deliver the message of the gospel and have fun, Riddick said. As a performer, Riddick personally looks forward to making connections with people at the event.

Everything that made the event possible was accomplished completely from scratch, Riddick said, even the posters, designed by Riddick himself.

Riddick said Squirrel Sound Inc., a company in Pierpont, will provide the sound. He also credits Eric Jordan as a part of the process. Jordan, a big mentor in Riddick’s life, will host the event. The pastor of the Foundry Church, Justin Myers, was also crucial in getting permission to have the event on the Foundry Church steps.

A Christ, a “unique talent,” will open for the rest of the artists.

“There’s a lot of untapped talent here,” Riddick said.

He added that his music is “positive, clean and uplifting,” and he is looking forward to performing.

“I love to deliver the message of the gospel,” Riddick said.
Xavier Williams, keyboardist, performs with more than five artists. Williams will play keyboard for Quie and Sòl Vibe during the event.

“Hip hop is not what it used to be around Morgantown, so the fact that we can do this live on High Street is pretty cool,” Williams said.

Riddick said he decided to hold a music event outside where people could come and offer a different style of music, rather the usual bluegrass or country musicians in the region.

He also has a company called 25 to Thrive, which is a music consultation program for independent artists. It helps artists who are starting out and pursuing music as their career, with a monthly consultation that educates them on royalties, copyrights and branding.

“A lot of artists don’t know about the music business, they just know about the music … [my goal is] to educate them,” Riddick said. “It really equips artists on what they need to be independent, as long as they see fit.”

Riddick also has an internship program with Revive Collective Music for students through Mountaineer TRAK, where employers can post jobs or internships, and it counts towards a college credit. Riddick said he created an internship to give back to the students and people that are interested in the music industry a “real experience.”

“What I love about performing is just the connection with the audience. I love making people happy … that feeling just brings me joy because that’s what music did for me in a time of sorrow or being down, I can look to music to lift me up,” Riddick said. “I also am looking forward to telling people about Jesus.”