August’s Hoosier Highlights: The Chreece Edition
There were a lot of great things that happened in the Hoosier State during the month of August—between new music releasing and countless events taking place—but the most significant part of the month came with the fourth annual Chreece. The Indianapolis hip-hop festival brings in some names from outside the Circle City (the inaugural lineup included Mick Jenkins, and this year featured Marcus Alan Ward, Craig G and G.O.O.D Music’s Valee), but the main emphasis of the festival is on showcasing hot local artists. Needless to say, the vast majority of my time at the festival was spent observing and experiencing what Naptown has to offer, including artists I’ve already seen or featured here before like DisTinct or Jeremiah Stokes.
James Daytona – “Dry Places” (featuring Allison Victoria): The first Christian rapper I’ve ever covered for the blog, I saw James Daytona perform this new single live with Allison Victoria during her set to close out the Square Cat Vinyl stage, with the set itself serving as the highlight of the whole day for me. Together Daytona and Victoria offered up a hype rendition of “Dry Places,” and the studio version of the cut goes just as hard. While Daytona’s flow feels a bit elementary at certain points, his wordplay and message are on point throughout, and Victoria’s singing on the hook really seals the deal for this already-solid track.
Sirius Blvck – “New Jacks”: Ghost Gun Summer is a sort of mythical force in the ‘Nap, so it’s no surprise that the 5-emcee collective’s Hi-Fi performance drew a formidable crowd, many of them new faces that had not been present earlier on in the day. Sirius Blvck is part of the reason why all sorts of different people keep coming back, some not even hip-hop fans. His forthcoming album, major threat., releases next month, and the lead single “New Jacks” seems like the perfect preview. Vocally and flow-wise, Blvck kind of reminds me of a Kodak Black—perhaps they could even be distant relatives—and no, I’m not just saying that because of their stage surnames. Unlike Black though, Blvck actually sounds good.
O.D.D.I.T.Y – “All That We Need” (featuring Lo Brinks): Much like Daytona, O.D.D.I.T.Y did not have his own set at this year’s Chreece, but he joined Victoria on stage as another featured guest during her set. You may recognize this name from earlier coverage (I reviewed his EP ME. and also featured the EP’s lead single “Losing Focus” on March’s highlights). On the gospel-tinged “All That We Need,” the message focuses less on personal struggles and more on general, broader issues that affect society as a whole. “All That We Need” is a call for unification, and a soulful one at that.
Trajik – “Traptown, USA”: I did not catch Trajik when he performed at Pioneer (I was too enthralled with the 1-2-3 punch of Stokes, Ward, and Victoria at Square Cat that I had no way or desire to escape), but now that I’ve heard “Traptown, USA” after the fact, I must say I’m a bummed that I missed his set. While not Trajik’s latest single, I would have been a fool to not feature a triumphant-sounding banger like this one. “Traptown, USA” is fun, but it also hits hard, and a song like that ought to be duly noted, even though I didn’t see him live.
You can find all of my Hoosier picks in one place, whether you use SoundCloud or Spotify, each with its own set of exclusives.