Growing up Hip-Hop in Kansas City

In the early days of Hip-Hop, mixtapes on boomboxes and parties at Lincoln High School were the only places in Kansas City to hear Hip-Hip music; nowadays we see KC natives working with the biggest stars of the genre.

“You may actually have more people, walking around today, that identify Kansas City with Tech N9ne than with Charlie Parker,” says forum speaker Shawn Edwards. 

Edwards is a former writer for The Source, Vibe and XXL magazines; he and prolific music producer Don Juan, will walk you through an uncut oral history of Hip-Hop in KC at “Growing Up Hip-Hop in Kansas City” an early social and cultural event in conjunction with JuneteenthKC.  

They plan on discussing the economic impact of Hip-Hop locally, how far the scene has come, and how impactful KC has been to the music.

The event will be held on Fri. June 2, at The 2000 Vine Building beginning at 5 p.m. with a VIP reception hosted by DJ Roc, followed by the “Growing Up Hip-Hop in Kansas City” conversation at 7p.m. 

Don Juan and Edwards were both uniquely positioned to present an up close view of Hip-hop’s development in KC. Edwards extensively covered the KC hip-hop scene and was the first to write about emerging artists Tech N9ne and Sole. While Don Juan has produced hit songs for Tech N9ne, E-40, Crooked I, and many others. Local YouTube star Kimology will moderate the event that also features DJ Skeme. Artist Warren ‘Stylez’ Harvey who will create a Hip-Hop inspired painting live featuring DJ Skeme.

Free tickets can be found at the following link:

Shawn Edwards curated the JuneteenthKC Film Festival and will be one of two expert panelists at “Growing Up Hip-Hop” where he will speak about his years covering KC’s emerging hip-hop scene.

JuneteenthKC Film Festival

The inaugural JuneteenthKC Film Festival features a mix of classic and new films that celebrate the Black experience through cinema. The festival is curated by Shawn Edwards, an award-winning Fox 4 News film critic, and will be held at the Screenland Armour Theatre in North Kansas City, Missouri.

“As we celebrate Juneteenth, one of the most important days in African American history, I felt it was important that we include groundbreaking cinema that embodies the spirit of the holiday,” said Edwards. 

According to Edwards, film has been an important part of the Black experience since the beginning of the motion picture industry, going back to the early 1900s. By featuring films that showcase the Black experience, JuneteenthKC Film Festival hopes to create a deeper understanding of African-American history and culture while also providing a unique cinematic experience.

JuneteenthKC Film Festival Lineup

Wed, May 31, 7 p.m. “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (2023), Hosted by Fox 4 News’ Shawn Edwards, Free.

Thu, June 1, 7 p.m, “The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster” (2023) Hosted by Magic 107’s Ivani Bing

Mon, June 5, 6:45 p.m., “Miss Juneteenth” (2020), $13, hosted by Makeda Peterson Chair of JuneteenthKC

Tue, June 13, 7 p.m., The Blackening (2023), free, hosted by KCTV 5’s Lonita Cook

Mon, June 19, 3:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m., “Do the Right Thing” (1989), $8, hosted by Makeda Peterson Chair of JuneteenthKC