The Craziest Weekend of 2018 ... So Far

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Today, of course, is Friday the 13th, so Happy Vorhees Day to those of you who celebrate. 

Last night at the Middle East in Boston, Mister Burns and Jarv kicked off their Preceding the Warmth tour with underground godfather Masta Ace. Last night also marked the beginning of perhaps the most packed weekend of Vermont Hip Hop News I think I've ever seen. What follows is an attempted summary.

First off, Mister Burns and Jarv will be bringing their circus through Rusty Nail Stage this evening in Stowe. This will be an 802 celebration, featuring Jibba "The Gent," Drive and Wool See, and hosted by DJ Mike Fulton. Be there.

Meanwhile, Es-K and Loupo are headed down to Boston for the grand finals of the Master of the Machines tournament at Sonia. This is a serious production battle, and it's being judged by some of the very best -- like Detroit's own Apollo Brown. Earlier today, Loupo also dropped a brand new project, his Vacations EP. It's another impressive stylistic turn from a talented young artist. 

Finally, Atlanta firebrand emcee Quanstar will be bringing his Rebuilding Greenwood Tour through Harvest Brewing in Bennington. He'll be rocking a special set with a full-on live band consisting of several members of The NEKTones, a soul-R&B-funk-jazz outfit that's set to make a lot of noise this summer.  

Thing is, though: that's just tonight. Tomorrow will be even more hectic. 

Boston emcee / producer Louis Mackey will be making a rare live appearance at Bennington's Masonic Hall, opening up for The NEKTones with beatsmith / koan aficionado Dr. Quandary. Mackey is fresh off the release of his dusty, crushing debut LP, AVGVSTVS, and there will be physical copies on sale. Quandary dropped a brand new EP just this morning, Cemetery Hands, which is dark & brilliant. Also, obviously, The NEKTones are going to tear the roof off of that ... uh, basement. (It is a very tastefully decorated and comfortable basement, I assure you.)

In Burlington, the place to be on Saturday night is Social Club & Lounge for the Always Staying Tru mixtape release / performance party. There will be a gang of talent in the building we don't get to see enough of, and the format should make for a fast-moving, fun evening.

Here's where things get interesting. On Saturday, April 14th, we've also got some of the Vermont scene's hardest workers making moves out of state. In fact, we've got Mass, New Hampshire and Connecticut covered. This seems like a damn significant milestone.

The Preceding The Warmth tour will head to Holyoke, MA to bless Waterfront Tavern. An already top notch bill will get a world class upgrade, too: Sadat X will be joining them. Over in the 603, JynxINC will be at the Shaskeen Pub in Manchester, opening for Apathy & Celph Titled, the original Demigodz. Meanwhile, the Hustle, Loyalty & Respect crew will be headed to Waterbury, CT to rock the Starz With Barz Reunion at T Jay's Bar and Grill.

Oh, yeah -- and B-Boy Wish of Rhythm Riderz crew / Break Room will be representing Vermont in the BORN 2 GET DOWN battle at the Zorba Music Hall in Lowell, MA. He was invited to be one of the "Underdog Top 8" competitors and will be up against dancers from around New England. Starts at noon and runs all day. 

Props to everyone involved, and props to the many artists not mentioned here who are hustling equally hard. This Summer is clearly going to be something special. 

Justin Boland