Smile Politely

#CertifiedDope should be, well, dope

A pair of local DJs, DJ Belly and Epilep[c], are combining forces to create a hip-hop-centric electronic dance music series in Illinois. Two events — one this Saturday night at Cowboy Monkey in Champaign and one in December at The Abbey Pub in Chicago — are already booked and branded as #CertifiedDope events with potentially more to come in Bloomington, Springfield, Peoria, and Carbondale as well.

This Saturday night at Cowboy Monkey, the first #CertifiedDope show will feature local acts Disco Phil (ghetto house), The Interns (trap), Epilep[c] (juke, trap, hip-hop), and DJ Belly (trap, hip-hop) along with headliner DJ Real Juicy (B’more, hip-hop, trap) from out of Peoria and local Harsh Pro (aka Wolfbear) as MC to round out the bill

According to Kevin Miller (DJ Belly), both he and Carlos Hernandez (Epilep[c]) had similar ideas independently:

I was trying to set up a hip-hop-centric EDM dance night, and at the same time Carlos and The Interns [both from The Foundation] were trying to do the same thing. So we started talking to each other and decided — why don’t we just do it together? Carlos already had a spot at The Abbey Pub in Chicago and they are down to work with us. So I thought that would be perfect because we already both book shows at Cowboy all the time, so us doing this together makes sense.

Photo Credit: Carlos Hernandez

For Miller, booking for the #CertifiedDope shows is all about having the right sound for the right show:

There’s a lot of producers that are really new and making some cool music. But this series is not necessarily about making your own music. It’s about representing all the different styles of hip-hop dance music as far reaching as you want to take it. Nothing house-y or dubstep-y, but basically, the stuff people in Illinois don’t get much chance to dance to. We have people who play along that vein and are loosely associated and down to work together. It’s not necessary like the Dubstep Massacre series was, where you have a set group of people who play in rotation. It’s more like build the night and everyone gets to get exposure off of it equally.

As for the potential for more #CertifiedDope shows, Miller says he and Carlos are looking at anywhere that has a built-up dubstep scene that might be receptive to a hip-hop-centric EDM dance night:

The plan now has jumped into branding them all together and doing shows in Bloomington or Springfield too. We want to use this as a way for new producers making hip-hop style music to have places where they can come through and hit three or four dates in a row in one state. That way you hit up four different markets in a row and you can play every night when you swing through Illinois.

#CertifiedDope is going down tomorrow night at Cowboy Monkey, starting at 9 p.m. for $5.

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