Hip Hop Festival Coming to Des Moines This Summer

May 12, 2016

Des Moines based hip hop artist MarKaus (@MarKausMF), his record label, and the Des Moines Social Club are collaborating to produce a hip hop festival in Des Moines to highlight the Iowa hip hop scene.

After reading that, you might be thinking, “Iowa has a hip hop scene?” It does, and it’s growing.

During this Talk of Iowa segment, host Charity Nebbe talks with MarKaus, the mastermind behind the festival. He grew up in Kansas City and Atlanta and came to Ames to attend Iowa State University. He decided to stay in Iowa, seeing its potential.

"One of the things that you constantly hear here is like, 'We got to get out, we got to go to Dallas, we got to go to Los Angeles, but the things that made those cities what they are is people that decided to stay. So I see that same potential in Des Moines,” says MarKaus. “I feel like it could be a mecca of hip hop, the same way you look at New York or Atlanta when it had its time, and Miami to a certain extent. I feel like Des Moines is right there."

Mickey Davis, Program Director at the Des Moines Social Club and part of the disco group MAIDS, also joins the conversation. They talk about the festival and the growing popularity of Freshen Up, a monthly hip hop showcase in the Basement of the Des Moines Social Club.