Underground Sound: Hip-hop and Rap in the Pioneer Valley (2017)

The Pioneer Valley is home to a young, active, and dedicated community of aspiring hip-hop artists. This small community thrives off of the efforts of local music venues and the college scene to provide high-energy performances to the valley at house parties and local establishments like the Arts Block, located in Greenfield, MA. At this venue, local hip hop talent from around the Pioneer Valley comes together for high-energy performances and incredible local sounds. Combining electronic music, spoken word, and singing, this scene brings with it an incredible breadth of talent that transcends traditional genres.

This perspective highlights the communal nature of the hip hop and rap scene in Western Massachusetts. Collaboration and creativity merge to create a unique brand of music that resonates with younger generations and is primed for the local college scene. The individuals engaged in this community come from a variety backgrounds, but everyone shares the drive to create and perform. Pioneer Valley rap is defined by dedication to the craft. There are no guidelines, boundaries, or teachers for this genre. This dedication expresses itself through incredible music designed in homemade recording studios and perfected at house parties. As the scene has gained a following, the shows, resources, and talent have expanded throughout the valley and the five colleges. The DIY nature of this community invokes a level of variety not found in many music scenes. No two artists sound the same, and no one style is preferred. A truly home-brewed music experience, this scene’s energy and passion combines with talent to provide a show unlike any other.