Local Artists Team Up for a Night of Live Hip Hop

“You’re Doing Great Work” reads the massive block letters on the front of Splintered Craft’s building on 4th Avenue. Other messages, pictures and tags cover nearly the entire exterior, and all have been made by local youth.

The arts studio is a place where the youth of Whitehorse can discover, practice and hone their artistry — be it painting, music or just about anything else.

Complete with arts supplies, a full recording studio and ample space for youth to work on their various projects, Splintered Craft, over the past few years, has become a hub for the Yukon’s creative young minds.

Hip hop artist Ben Craymer, aka B-Cray, says Splintered Craft is a place that “allows the youth of the Yukon to promote healthy, creative art with elements inspired by the atmosphere around here.”

Several evenings a week, Splintered Craft is full of Yukon youth painting, drawing, writing, and jamming. With many regular attendees, the arts space has its own community, with a strong welcoming sense. The space is also often used to host arts-based events such as concerts, usually consisting of performances by young local artists.

Having hosted The Sputnik Experiment’s first CD release concert, a two-day all youth festival called BreakFest, and two hip hop shows, Splintered Craft is now known as much as a concert venue as anything else.

Currently, the people of Splintered Craft are working on preparations for their next big event, Hip Hop Show #3.

Splintered Craft is run by Jona Barr, who diligently devotes his evenings to maintaining the studio and encouraging the desired environment within. Barr, however, puts a heavy emphasis on the fact that the youth who attend Splintered Craft play the biggest role in putting on the concerts events that happen here. The youth who will be participating in the concert are in Splintered Craft now during all its opening hours, practicing their music, as well as making flyers and setting up the space for the show.

“It seems like we’re going to have a lot of different rappers,” says Tanner Coyne, a Splintered Craft regular and featured performer who goes by the stage name Mr. Abstract.

“I’m hoping to get my DJ skills up to the point where I can DJ for everyone’s set,” he says.

While being an opportunity for fans to have fun and artists see their work pay off, the show will also provide exposure for many new hip hop artists in Whitehorse. In addition to Mr. Abstract, Hip Hop Show #3 will also feature performances by a host of other local rappers, DJs and beatboxers, including B-Cray, Calm Rivers, Cosmic Sorceress, Cymatic, Tahltan Havoc, JB Bobby Dilla, Lucid Logic and John Stosh.

“We’ll have the featured performers all play their sets, then have a free-for-all at the end,” says Barr. He adds that members of the public are welcome to get on stage and participate during the free-for-all to close off the show.

As excitement builds for the concert, the participants get busier and busier with preparations and rehearsals. Yet the showrunners are faithfully working to stay on schedule and have everything ready on time.

Hip Hop Show #3 takes place Thursday, August 24 at 7 p.m. at Splintered Craft, which is located at 4159 – 4th Avenue. It is an all ages show, and admission is by pay-what-you-can donations at the door. For more information, check out Splintered Craft’s Facebook page.

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