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Why is Chreece important to Indianapolis' hip-hop scene?

Rappers, producers and DJs playing the fest tell all.


  • Photo by Roberto Campos
  • Tony Styxx

Chreece returns to Fountain Square this Saturday, and to preview the hip-hop fest, we spoke to 31 different rappers, producers and DJs playing the fest. We wanted to know two questions: 1) What does Indy's hip-hop sound like? and 2) Why is Chreece important to a scene like Indy's? 

We answered question number one in our cover story, accessible here. Here's the answer to question two from a bunch of 

“Chreece is important because it gives identity and momentum to a deserving community of artists.
“Chreece is important because this is our version of SXSW and AC3 or Coachella... it will eventually shed light to the city and world that we have dope music coming from our city and midwest... It’s our Expo or Indy 500 for hip-hop, dance, DJs, producing and art.”

- Rob Skee

“Chreece is important because it’s allowing those who voices aren’t being heard to finally get a chance to shine and it allows those whose voices are being heard to have an even bigger platform to win over their fan base that will hold their performances in their memory forever.”

- Mathaius Young

“In my opinion, Chreece is very important for the culture of the city. There are two perspectives to view it from, an artist's perspective, and from a viewer’s perspective.

“For the artists, it brings together so much talent, from around the city, who all have a passion for music, and have been locked away in there own create environments waiting to showcase their sound to as many people as possible.

“You never know who you will meet or whose character you will become fascinated with.

"There's such an amazing mix of creative people of all types.

“You could get to meet photographers, videographers, graphic designers, musicians of all genres; there are so many people at Chreece that all have their own creative outlet and want to showcase it with any viewer that comes to there, which is an amazing networking opportunity to meet great artistic partners.

"From a viewers’ perspective, what more could you ask for?

“You get to witness the amazing talent that our city has birthed and have an amazing time watching your favorite Indy artist showcase what they love to do.

“Given the long list of acts performing, you can see 5 or 6 of your favorite artists, and then also discover three or four new artists that you didn't know were creating great quality sound, all from this city.

“Chreece is important for growth of our city's culture to draw people in, but it's also important because it celebrates the amazing culture we have been building these last few years, as a family of artists, no matter the type, it celebrates our city.

- Scotty Apex

“Chreece is essential because we're a city that is looked over for its musical talent. Artists here need a platform that puts them more into the eyes of the public and non-believers. I believe Indy makes better music than many popular industry names and it’s time to get our voices and stories heard.

- Ares

  • Photo by Roberto Campos
  • Harry Otaku

“Chreece is the outlet. It's almost like a great award show. Annually, you get the greatest talent, together. You cover the base of a popular element of our city. And it's like a carnival of amazing sounds and experiences. It's a musical acid trip. It's Woodstock, for our city. You'll get the feeling you would get from watching Jimi Hendrix or a Jim Morrison or something of that magnitude. It's a life, all it's own. And it's a showcase of what you're going to love. It gives people a chance to put their heart and soul into something that you love. It's Wrestlemania. But, for hip-hop. This is a foregoing pinnacle. And it'll only become greater.”

- Pope Adrian Bless

“Why is Chreece important? Chreece is HUGE for Indy's hip-hop scene for the fact that Indy hip-hop artist are usually over-looked and under appreciated. If gives us hip-hop artist a platform to show what we're made of and the ability to display the hidden talent that lies within the city.”

- Luke Hazel
“Chreece is important because it brings the community together to form unlikely friendships. In January , I had a show at the Hi-Fi with Butler DJ/Emcee Mr. Kinetik . I mentioned how much fun Chreece had been the previous year as a spectator . His response: ‘We need to get you on that bill. Seriously. I'm going to text Oreo Jones right now.’ Fast forward to June and I find an email from Oreo in my Yahoo inbox. It was so surreal. Music brings unlikely [people] together in the spirit of positivity. Chreece is nothing but proof of that.”

- Brooks the Prophet

“Chreece is important because the performers on the bill are given the opportunity to show current fans and new listeners what they have been working on all year. Chreece provides a platform to expose artists to the NAP. It's also giving people in the city an opportunity to support the local music scene and get to know an avenue of music they may not normally listen to.”

- Mula Kkhan

  • Photo by Roberto Campos
  • Chreece 2016
“Chreece itself is just more than just a music festival. It’s a beacon to the rest of the country and the world that Indy has talent. It’s a showcase of the diversity and creativity that exists in our great state. Chreece is more than just music, it’s a celebration of the graphic designers, artists, singers, clothing designers, blog writers and the creative individuals who take their passion seriously. This is also a hub for people to network and create new relationships. Another reason why Chreece is important is that this event will attract more national touring acts to come perform in our state. With an active music scene; it shows that we have an audience that is willing to go out and go to shows and hear our music.” ​

- Shxps
“Chreece is so important because it puts on display all of what those who create this music and community have none for a long time, we have something special here in Naptown and it needs to be at the fore, even if only for one day. It helps cultivate the culture locally and nationally, the many styles and sounds that so many of us have put our heart and soul into.”

- Richard “Sleepy” Floyd, Native Sun

RELATED: Listen to MFT"s Chreece playlist 

“I think it's important to give artists a platform to express their passion. Since Indy doesn't have a historically influential hip-hop scene; it's huge to have a festival dedicated to the genre. It encourages artists that even though they may not be in a hip-hop heavy scene, they still have a city of support behind them.”
-Eric Swanson, Grey Lamb

“I think Chreece is important because it promotes TRUE unity. Throughout the year, everybody is usually doing their own thing with their collective(s); with Chreece, all of that is out of the window. Prominent artists from every corner of this city all come together to share multiple stages and what's even more beautiful is that we all have a good time in the process.”

- Jeremiah Stokes
“Why is Chreece important? Chreece turns the house party into a block party, showcasing a great deal of the Indy talent that deserves proper shine. Straying from small shows and tiny events, Chreece creates a festival platform for numerous names to collaborate together, support one another, and ultimately grow.”

- neonpajamas

“Chreece is important because it’s the idea of reciprocity between local business and artistry being actualized.”

- Flaco

Dancing on the Square - PHOTO BY ROBERTO CAMPOS
  • Photo by Roberto Campos
  • Dancing on the Square
“Chreece is important because it has already proven itself to be a fantastic opportunity to leverage Hip-Hop as a tool to promote a real sense of peace and community. After its incredible success last year, Chreece can again help deconstruct myths about a largely misunderstood genre, and show the rest of the midwest what authenticity truly looks like.”

- Business Casual

“To me, Chreece is important because it is helping to build a positive light around the local hip hop artists of the city. It brings everyone together, everyone can have a great time, and so many people are getting the opportunity to show everybody what they can do. It’s amazing! I love that Chreece is as big as it is, and I can’t wait to see it get bigger and bigger every year!”

- Drayco McCoy

“Chreece is important because one common critique with our, as well as most, hip-hop communities is how segmented the scenes can appear to be. This festival is directly and purposefully designed to be inclusive, both for the wide array of artists, styles, and sounds, in addition to both creatives and fans alike. Chreece is like one huge picnic table that everyone is invited to come participate in on some level. It's also all about love, respect, creativity, and proving to the rest of the community that the beauty in the music is firmly rooted in those principles.”

- DJ Metrognome

“Chreece is important because it shows that hip hop can succeed in this city. Chreece I was exactly what everyone IN the scene knew it would be: fun, peaceful, successful & a sell out. There was no violence, no arrests, no major damages/vandalism.

“Chreece is also incredibly important because it can show civic leaders of Indianapolis that the city is absolutely perfect to host a SXSW-style music festival. The cultural districts of Fountain Square, Downtown, Mass Ave and even Garfield Park are so close to each other that it could support 30,40,50k people with no problems. Chreece could be the lynchpin that springs forward to something huge for a city that's already extremely adept at hosting large scale events.”

- Trilli

“Chreece is the conduit between the artists and people of Indianapolis. There is a ton of music in the city, so it's nice to have a festival that exposes the entire hip-hop scene in one nice package.”

“Chreece is important because it is the foundation to something big. We went from shows with 12 people at Locals Only (RIP) to a multi-venue all-day event that sold out before the sun went down. Chreece is great for awareness. It has promoters and talent buyers realizing the worth of quality Indy hip-hop, and squashes the long association with hip-hop and negativity.
"There's successful shows in Indy all the time now. We went from being able to book at one-two venues to being able to book anywhere. That’s huge to me. The more support we get here at home, the quicker we will see Indy gain support on a national level with its music. Chreece plays a major role in moving forward with that. I plan to do whatever it takes to keep that idea moving.”

“This festival is important because it allows the city to hear the underground talent thriving within Indy's circle whom are recognized on a regional, national and international level. It also allows artists to share a common ground which promotes local collaboration. Chreece: where you can find the wave!”

-Joey French
  • Photo by Roberto Campos
  • Molly June
“Chreece is important because it brings everyone together. It was such a positive experience last year and will be even bigger and better this year. Oreo and everyone involved do a great job of picking the artists.”


“I personally would like to expand on a song of mine from my most recent EP Alpha & Omega. This collection of music is available on Apple Music, Spotify, & the Tidal platform. The song in particular that I will give a brief insight to is "All I Know", featuring the great talents of EJAAZ. The concept of this song streams from a multi functional phrase "four days in the same clothes". The meaning of these joined words can be used to describe everything from the work ethic of a hustler on the street corner, to a corporate business man putting in long hours to rise in the ranks of his company. Either way the phrase embodies the concept that the two persons describe are so busy working toward their goals, that they have no time to eat, sleep, or have a change of clothes. The beauty of this is whoever you are and no matter what you do, the song can in some way relate to your grind to reach the top of whatever industry you are apart of. This is what became my inspiration to create this song, along with a need to express my mentality as a person and how this trait carries over to myself as an artist."

- Young Fuze 


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