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'Cage Call' for city's hip-hop scene

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Jun 25, 2014 - 1:53 PM |
Hip-hop artists Mike O'Brien of Kill the Autocrat)(left) and Max “Silvertongue” Merrifield are the organizers of Cage Call, a monthly hip-hop series being held at The Townehouse Tavern. Photo by Arron Pickard.

Hip-hop artists Mike O'Brien of Kill the Autocrat)(left) and Max “Silvertongue” Merrifield are the organizers of Cage Call, a monthly hip-hop series being held at The Townehouse Tavern. Photo by Arron Pickard.

Organizers hope to attract new fans

Cage call — a common mining term — refers to calling the cage before miners return to the surface.


It's also the name of a new monthly hip-hop series at The Townehouse Tavern

Mike O'Brien, a local miner and hip-hop artist who's helping to organize the series along with fellow hip-hop artist and Northern Lights Festival Boreal executive director Max “Silvertongue” Merrifield, said it's the perfect name.

The events aim to bring hip-hop from the underground to the surface, exposing it to a larger audience, and attracting those who wouldn't ordinarily go to hip-hop shows.


The venue itself — a popular downtown bar — may go a long way to accomplishing this, the organizers say.

Each show also has a theme, and people are invited to dress up, which may also increase the events' allure.

“We want to cultivate a real party atmosphere, where even if you don't go to hip-hop shows, you're just going to get caught up in the vibe of it,” Merrifield said.
The first Cage Call event took place earlier this month, and was a success, said O'Brien, producer and MC with the local rap group Kill the Autocrat.

The event featured Toronto hip-hop artist Mindbender, and O'Brien and Merrifield also performed, along with other local hip-hop artists.

“It wasn't fully packed, but it was a respectable crowd,” O'Brien said. “Everyone that was there was there to watch the show, which was really humbling to see.”

Merrifield said the hip-hop scene is really emerging in Sudbury right now. About a decade ago, there was a lot of activity, but then there seemed to be bit of a lull. “Lately there's been a lot more live shows,” he said,

The next Cage Call event takes place starting at 10 p.m. July 25 at The Townehouse Tavern.

It will feature Philly Moves, a Toronto-based hip-hop group that O'Brien said he thinks is on the verge of becoming well known, as well as Notes to Self, another Toronto hip-hop group known for its talented DJ.

Local hip-hop artists Johnny B and Broken Home Collabos will also perform.
The event will have a “Summer Jam” theme, so people are invited to wear beach attire or Hawaiian shirts.

O'Brien and Merrifield are still in the process of organizing Cage Call events for August and into the future.

For more information about the hip-hop series, as well as details about upcoming shows, search for “Cage Call: Underground Hip-Hop” on Facebook.
Heidi Ulrichsen

Heidi Ulrichsen

Staff Writer

@heidi_ulrichsen

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