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Neon Reverb report: Hip Hop Roots Showcase at LVCS

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Acee-ville of Iintercepterz displayed some extreme speed to kick off the Neon Reverb Festival at Downtown’s LVCS.
Photo: Chris Bitonti
Chris Bitonti

The Neon Reverb Festival is back in full swing, with my first night of festivities commencing with Tuesday night’s free Hip Hop Roots showcase at Downtown's LVCS. I figured the 11 p.m. weeknight start might dampen turnout, but I arrived to a well-attended show with an enthusiastic crowd. In this case, “roots” refers to a recurring motif within Las Vegas’ hip-hop community: artists supporting artists—a simple message, but one evident onstage throughout the night. 

This is the fourth year Hip Hop Roots has been included in Neon Reverb, and I'm pleased to have become a regular attendee. Las Vegas hip-hop ambassador HighDro was master of ceremonies once again.

I love the adjusted format of Hip Hop Roots—one part showcase, one part open mic. Along with scheduled local and traveling artists, organizers sprinkled in a few impromptu performers from the crowd of attendees. The night was spirited, loose and raw, but always entertaining, with any lull filled by DJ Tray or human beatbox Jay R.

The lineup was packed with Las Vegas and California rappers, including Ru, 5 Star and Big Rob the Champ among others. My night began with local artist Bom Green's unique brand of stoner/gangster rap. Lyrics like “Every day, all day, we get f**ked up” resonated throughout LVCS. Another notable performer was Las Vegas-based 5 Star. His life experience-inspired hard-luck-but-hopeful hip-hop was a refreshing change of pace.

The highlight of the night came from Acee-ville of the California-based Iintercepterz crew. It's an understatement to call him a high-speed rapper; his flow could give the Micro Machines man a run for his money. Acee-ville only seemed to stop when breathing was an absolute necessity.

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