No libretto survives from the first hip-hop opera, written in Berlin in 1788, but Got Me Under Prussia is believed to have been performed by a bewigged ensemble led by MC Frederick the Competent. Luckily, the art form has advanced significantly since then! Chicago Fringe Opera first presented The Rosina Project, a modern retelling of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, this May as part of the Pivot Arts Festival. Gossip Wolf heartily recommends the production, which features old-school boom-bap from talented local rappers (including Pinqy Ring and K.F. Jacques), a beatboxer and a DJ, and dancers from BraveSoul. The Rosina Project returns this weekend for three free shows as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks: Friday, August 2 (Senn Playlot Park), Saturday, August 3 (Palmer Park), and Sunday, August 4 (Columbus Park). Till then, you can listen to a live recording on CFO’s Soundcloud!
Chicago nonprofit Between Friends partners with Resilience on the Our Music My Body campaign against sexual harassment and assault at local music venues, and on its own it provides a broad range of support for victims of domestic violence across many communities. On Friday, August 2, a stellar lineup of Gossip Wolf faves—Slow Mass, TALsounds, and C.H.E.W.—plays a benefit for Between Friends at the Logan Boulevard Skate Park. Admission is a $10 requested donation, but more is welcome if you can give!
On Sunday, August 4, Chicago hip-hop veterans gather at the Illinois Centennial Monument in Logan Square for the Battle for the Eagle, a celebration of the foundational elements of the culture. It includes two kinds of battling—graffiti and breakdance—plus of course lots of live music. DJ Nonstop leads a team of nearly a dozen DJs throughout the day, and plenty of longtime MCs will take turns on the mike—including Awdazcate, SamIAm, and Ang13. The free event runs from noon till 8 PM. v
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