On Saturday, February 28, 2015 from 10 AM-2 PM, the Carnegie Center will offer its first course in hip-hop led by Justin “JustMe” Long, an award winning recording artist, emcee, producer, and DJ. He has performed all over the US and abroad. JustMe hosts The Foundation Hip-Hop Open Mic and performs both as a solo artist and as a member of Tribe Called Lex. Keep an eye out for his upcoming project “Hajime” dropping in April 2015.
Where did the idea for a hip hop open mic come from?
I attended Hip-Hop open mics when I was a teenager. It was a rite of passage to rock an open mic back in the day. We’ve had them in Lexington before, but they were short lived. I felt like our scene needed a consistent all-ages hip-hop event. Luckily, some of my friends felt the same and were willing to help make it happen.
How long have you all been hosting an open mic series?
The first installment of The Foundation was on February 20th, 2014. We’ve been doing it on the third Thursday of each month since then.
Can you tell us a little bit about what goes on at a typical Foundation?
When people first start arriving, the DJ is spinning. Emcees are putting their names on “the list” and catching up, and once we’ve got a crowd, the magic begins. I usually set it off by covering the house rules:
1. When your name is called you get 5 minutes
2. You can rock over your own track, what the DJ plays, or acapella
3. Be respectful
Other than the occasional special guest performance, you never know what you’re going to get. We always take up a collection to buy a newbie some music from The Album at the end of the night. It’s organic. It’s exciting! And it’s always a good time!
Any other details? When/Where/Cover?
It is almost always on the 3rd Thursday of the month. 9pm at The Album, 371 S. Limestone (We use the back door). The normal cover is $3. People can join our Facebook page for details.
What’s going on Thursday, the 19th?
This month is special because it is our 1 year anniversary. We decided to bring the underground downtown so, this month The Foundation is at Natasha’s Bistro. Because it is a special event, the cover is $5. We will have both Mykraphone Mike and Tommy Mizzla spinning. We will have a couple special performances, and some giveaways as well! Justin 3000 Stewart performs live art at many of the open mics, and he and Six Bomb Boards will be doing live art on Thursday.
What was the inspiration for the Saturday Seminar class?
I have lead similar workshops at an annual conference in Australia and a certain friend suggested that I do it here too! Haha! (This is where the Red Door Writers Blog curator winks conspiratorially)
When I was in high school, some older guys took me under their wing taught me how to be a better artist. They mentored me and taught me how to be a professional. Hopefully I can help some artists in a similar way.
What sorts of materials and abilities does a student need to bring? What kind of topics will you cover?
Definitely bring something to take notes on! If you’re an emcee, bring some rhymes. Other than that, just bring a willingness to interact! This workshop is hands-on! I’m bringing my turntables, mics, beat machine, etc.
What can a student expect to take away from this class?
If the student is an artist, then they can expect to come away with an idea about how to take their artistry to the next level.
For those who are just interested in learning more about Hip-Hop, I think they will leave with a pretty good understanding of how the music is created.
You can follow JustMe on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @justmeofsi
Check out the video for his song, “Knob Creek” ft. Sheisty Khrist & Marcus Wilkerson here: