Story by Spaceyamzz, Editor
For the third year in a row, the city of Indianapolis came together in the name of cheers and peace to celebrate Indy Hip-Hop. The all day festival, Chreece, was held inside and outside of 9 different venues all across Fountain Square. For $15 dollars, less than the cost of a large 2 topping pizza, you could have caught some of the best hip-hop, rap, emcees, and producers that Indy has to offer.
This year, I did something a little different. We, as Face A Face Collective, signed up for press passes on full faith and credit in our previous work. I was hoping our previous 2015 and 2016 coverage of Chreece would make us press worthy.
I got to Fountain Square, parked and went to check in. Imagine my shock to find out I didn’t get press passes! Huge blow to my self confidence, but I managed to finesse and got one pass. My co-editor and photographer on the other hand were unable to get press and did not to attend.
This year, like last Chreece, I had the day to myself and could freely bounce between venues and catch many performances. I had time at the festival to mingle and meet new artists plus catching the performance of some of my favorites.
The first half of my schedule was mostly in the Hoosier Dome. As I started the half mile walk from Square Cat Vinyl to the Hoosier Dome, I realized that a bike, a shuttle or even a skateboard would have been made the journey much faster. Google maps revealed the walk to be about 10 minutes- the same time allotted between sets.
Chreece Gods, if you’re reading this consider some sort of shuttle, bike share, or pedicab from the Hoosier Dome to the Plaza. It would help guests stick to their schedules, work as an additional revenue source, and can help transport around elderly, sick, or tired guests.
The walk was well worth it. When I reached the Hoosier Dome, I was greeted with nothing but smiles and hugs from friends, acquaintances and other artists. The energy all day was electric and positive vibes were everywhere!
Roj Mahal was the first performer I saw. I arrived in the middle of his set but easily made my way to the front of the crowd. Roj has serious bars and really puts his heart into his sets. I’m always blown away by his style and artistry. After the performance, I hung out with him and Yvva and we all walked back toward the plaza.
Second on my list was producer extraordinaire, Harry Otaku . I went to daycare with Harry, so I’m always eager to catch up and see what he’s been working on. Harry O was performing on the plaza for a nice-sized crowd. Children danced and played near the fountains and attendees vibed out to the music.
I met up with some friends and watched Harry’s set before making the journey back to the Hoosier Dome. This walk is where I pitched my transport suggestion and they too agreed, we would all gladly pay a few dollars for a quick ride to and fro.
The next two acts on my schedule suffered the same fate of audio trouble during set up. I’m not sure if Mercury’s retrograde was claiming some victims or if the Chreece Gods were looking the other way.
Jeron Braxton and the Tomogotchis were in town and their Instagram post promised some new songs. I hadn’t seen the band perform since February, so I was eager to hear what they had been working on. The audio trouble ate up half of their 20 minute set time, and they only performed two songs. The band sounds great, but I wish they could have played more. Unfortunately, the Hoosier Dome was running a tight ship and the Tomogotchis weren’t allowed to make up their set.
Half an hour later, during Nagasaki Dirt’s set, the same audio trouble happened. First, a sound board wasn’t sending out sounds, then the tracks wouldn’t play! He performed at least two songs, and it was incredible to watch the audience react. I moved over to the side of the room because a mosh pit had broken out in the middle of the first song! He promised the audience three more songs, but the tight ship Hoosier Dome already sailed off for the next performance.
Three hours later, after a meeting up with more friends and taking a dinner break, I found myself in the Thunderbird for EJAAZ’s set. Ejaaz, had completely packed out Thunderbird, there was barely room to move. He was accompanied by his full band and gave a stellar performance. His set at Chreece is actually his last one before he moves to Los Angeles, so everyone was there. The room got so crowded that I actually went outside and watched from the windows so I could catch a breeze.
The final big Performance of my night was Flaco. The last two years at Chreece, I wasn’t able to see Flaco’s set because the Hi-Fi had reached maximum capacity! Thankfully, the remodeled Hi-Fi is much wider and allows for more people, and for once I got to see his set.
I found a killer spot at the side of the stage and watched from the best vantage point ever. Flaco’s crowds are always some of the best to be in. Everyone raps along the words and there’s not a still body in the crowd. His flow and cadence are always memerizing and I love seeing him hype up the crowd.
Chreece was nothing short of amazing this year. This Chreece was the epitome of cheers and peace, with good vibes all around. Every summer Chreece feels like a huge Indianapolis family reunion. I’m proud to be a small part of documenting this ever-growing and amazing scene. The festival went off without a hitch, and to top it off, it was a beautiful sunny 79 degree day!
As always, a huge shout out to the very talented Oreo Jones for throwing another amazing festival! If the universe allows for a Chreece 4, I will be there. Hope to see you too!