North Carolina is known for putting hip-hop artists like J. Cole and Little Brother in the national spotlight. But back in the mid-1990s, there was not much of a hip-hop presence in the mid-Atlantic.
Kevin Thomas (Kaze) was a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at the time and and his on-campus group Hip-Hop Nation helped spark the local hip-hop movement. Now Thomas is teaming up with a younger generation of rappers for a new Chapel Hill hip-hop festival.
"HillMatic: Celebrating Chapel Hill Hip Hop Culture" features performances from Thomas and members of the Chapel Hill-based hip-hop group no9to5 like Josh Rowsey ( (J) Rowdy). HillMatic takes place this Saturday at Local 506 in Chapel Hill at 7:30 p.m.
Host Frank Stasio previews the festival with Thomas and Rowsey, and they both perform live in studio.
KAZE, "Reminisce" (heard at 7:07)
(J) Rowdy, "In Due Time" (11:28)
KAZE, "Underground Railroad" (16:24)