“Kipp has done a lot, not only for Fargo hip-hop but for the entire state of North Dakota. The homie Jack Cracker from The Crest once told me, “”every little town needs a Kipp,”” said Big Zach.
Kipp Gabriel’s Me and You Crew developed around a decade ago in the Fargo-Moorhead area, which quickly began to build a community of like minded enthusiasts and supporters. Kipp was able to organize and open shows for some of the area and nation’s best talent (Doomtree, Heiruspecs, Mac Lethal, Grieves, E&A, Blueprint, Soulcrate, Mixed Blood Majority, Kanser, More Than Lights, Prof, the list goes on) to build an admirable force of a scene from relative obscurity. Fargo was an established fruitful place for local musicians, but not at all for hip-hop. There was still a small town feel to Fargo towards hip-hop at the time, which presented certain obstacles. From scrambling to move venues in the last minute for what seemed like arbitrary reasons at least once or twice, to just finding them in the first place and getting artists to come out. I’m sure there is much Kipp will never say in those regards. If there was any dope hip-hop coming into town over the last ten years, 99 times out 100 Kipp was opening or had a hand in the process. He is known for engaging concert goers, rappers and staff with his ubiquitous hugs, often ending shows in massive group-hugs.
“I always knew every time I went up to The Aquarium, people would come out and support whatever was going on. Kipp was good at freestyling and he knew if he did it, people would come out. Kipp formed perspectives for what hip-hop really is to many people in North Dakota that would otherwise only be exposed to what is on MTV and the radio,” said Ernest Rhodes.
In recent years he has been performing with fellow Fargo rapper, Tony The Butcher and they continued to be the beacon of life in Fargo flows and shows. Most of his shows were freestyle based providing a special sense of time and place, here and now, presence that is special and unique to every moment and setting.
“I’m not trying to make money or be famous, I just want to provide a little alternative culture to North Dakota. The big thing I take away from my involvement is friendship,” said Gabriel.
The Crest is underrated despite being awarded The Most Influential Wisconsin Hip-Hop Group Of All Time. They are traditional, classic bully-foot hip-hop pure in form. Raps in rapid compound syllables from Jack Cracker and AD accompanied by DJ Scrabble behind the wheels marks a perfect way to spend a last Saturday with North Dakota’s and Wisconsin’s most influential rappers of all time.
Check out the interview at High Plains Reader: