Max Lipson and Kedrick Mack want to start a hip-hop revolution. Or maybe they already have.
Better known as Miggs and KNife, respectively, the pair continues to adapt to the changing tide of the local hip-hop landscape. One thing that remains constant, though, is their innate ability to freestyle.
They are rappers, hip-hop artists and lyrical storytellers who have worked tirelessly to build a scene here in Savannah.
“There is a really frustrating chemistry between us and the rest of the downtown music scene,” KNife said. “It’s hard to convince bar owners and other musicians that two turntables and a microphone is legit. It’s us against the world.”
This impediment hasn’t stopped them though. Nothing will.
The stage is their megaphone and they’ll continue to propagate their own importance in a scene that’s slightly off the radar — and drag others up with them.
“There are people that make beats and rap and perform — they practice with some level of artistry behind it and it’s a performance, it’s a show, and a good one,” Miggs said. “We see the value of what they do and what we do locally and we’re trying to cultivate that.”
To start, they’re headlining a show July 9 at The Wormhole with out-of-town acts Jimmy Crow Blue (Ormond Beach, Fla.), Dinosaur Burps (Charleston, W. Va.), EyeQ (Ovieto, Fla.) and Teddy Knows Best (Baltimore).
The event, “Fire in the Hole,” is dedicated to showcasing acts that Miggs and KNife think deserve more exposure. They’re taking hip-hop into their own hands and giving unknown groups a legitimate platform to perform, simultaneously introducing the acts to the Savannah scene and the scene to the acts.
“We wanted to put on an exciting hip-hop show that was raw, all about the music,” Miggs said. “As cool as we think we are, we understand we’re a counterculture. We’re just underground of the underground scene.”
It was that scene that first drew Miggs to the art of hip-hop nine years ago when he saw Dope Sandwich — KNife’s hip-hop collective turned record label — onstage. While musically inclined, he didn’t have any aspirations to rap, really, but he saw the group and said they were doing it right.
Plus it was hip-hop, a genre both artists easily feel into because, to them, the message is clear.
“Hip-hop is the most direct form of music out there. It’s message oriented,” KNife said. “I look at the whole act of rapping as someone who plays the guitar, manipulating sounds like we manipulate syllables. It’s its own language.”
“That’s what resonates with us,” Miggs added. “It’s hard to hide who you are in rap; it’s exposing. It gets real on that stage.”
Miggs and KNife have a lyrical ebb and flow that works well together. Their styles differ, but on stage, they complement each other.
And you can expect a different show each time you see them because according to these two, the same old show just wouldn’t be as dope.