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Inaugural hip-hop showcase features Central Oregon rappers

Noel Yarngo is among the rappers featured in the showcase.

Alex Fikany

Noel Yarngo is among the rappers featured in the showcase.

Central Oregon music more commonly means cowboy guitars and bluegrass mandolins than mics and two turntables. But, if Jaime Scott and Anthony Anderson have their say Bend will become a springboard for hip-hop talent.

Anderson, who is the CEO for M.T.C. Promotions, and Scott, who owns F5Entertainment, are consistently being asked by up-and-coming rappers for the chance to perform before the shows they host. In response and in an effort to create a podium for up-and-coming talent, they have created Lava Raps: Volume 1; the first of what they hope will be monthly showcases where locals can perform, hone their skills, and develop a fan base.

"We're building a platform to give opportunities to those who want to work hard and actually really do it for themselves," says Anderson. He adds that it is about "letting these guys earn their spot, rather than it being given."

"We're trying to make the Domino Room and Midtown a destination, a staple in the hip-hop scene," states Anderson, "where you know artists are doing stuff if they perform there."

Out of the 10-plus artists performing this weekend, there will be a fan-chosen "winner"—and along with that title a block of studio time and an opening slot for rapper Rittz when he performs this May at the Domino Room. But Anderson is hesitant to label Lava Raps a battle of the bands. The ultimate goals of the showcase are much larger, such as getting new-to-performing artists time in front of an audience.

"You can rehearse all you can in your room but to be in front of a live audience is definitely way different," acknowledges Anderson.

Lava Raps

7:30 pm, Sat., March 28

Domino Room

$10

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