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Hip hop to help the hungry

Annual event showcases talent while collecting for the food bank

By: Scott Hayes

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Dec 18, 2013 06:00 am

APPEARING LIVE – Rellik is one of several hip-hop artists who will be performing at Hip-Hop for Hunger this Saturday.
APPEARING LIVE – Rellik is one of several hip-hop artists who will be performing at Hip-Hop for Hunger this Saturday.
Supplied photo

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Hip Hop for Hunger
12th Annual Event
Featuring Edmonton’s hip hop community
Music by DJ Sonny Grimezz and DJ Twist, with performances by The Liberators, K-Blitz, Jaide, Doom Squad and Rellik, featuring HHFH Cyphers

Saturday, Dec. 21
Doors at 8 p.m., show at 10 p.m.
The Pawn Shop
10551 82 Ave., Edmonton
No minors permitted
$12 admission with a donation of any item of non-perishable food, $15 without.
Advance tickets available online at, Blackbyrd Myoozik and at the Pawn Shop Live ticketing kiosk.
For information, visit

One local man has his hopes on easing the problem of hunger, all by using the power of hip-hop music.

Jason Gooz is the organizer behind this weekend’s Hip-Hop for Hunger, a stage show to pump up the audiences and bolster food donations for families in need, all in one fell swoop.

“We’re just trying to give back to the community, do something for the food bank,” he said.

This is the 12th year of the “annual urban music initiative,” as he calls it. The idea first started around the year 2000 when he was working with capital city rap group Politic Live when it was on tour in British Columbia. A similar event proved to be a solid success but was still so far away from home.

“The fellas decided to bring that idea back to Edmonton. We just kept building on it year after year just as a way to showcase up-and-coming hip-hop performers,” he continued.

“They’d be people who were pushing hard with album releases, or trying to grow the scene. We were trying to put them on the bill as sort of like an all-star show, I guess, to display the talent that we have as well as get everyone together to do something good for the community.”

Hip-Hop for Hunger is a food-raising showcase for local musical talent first and a massive charity event second. Produced by Politic Live, this Saturday’s event will feature performances by The Liberators, K-Blitz, Jaide, Doom Squad and Rellik.

This will also be the second year that the event will have a cipher or two on stage. What’s a cipher, you might ask? Gooz said that it’s “a bunch of rappers going around in a circle each taking turns … following in the tradition of the BET Awards.”

He said that there will be a young guns cipher as a well as an OG cipher, meaning a bunch of guys who have around the scene for at least a decade. Videos will be made of these performances and released online at a later date.

Charity too

Everyone attending the event is encouraged to bring non-perishable food for the Edmonton Food Bank. In its first 11 years, Hip-Hop for Hunger has raised more than 4,300 kilograms of food. This year’s goal is to bring in 680 kilograms.

Gooz admitted that organizers always set the bar high.

Attendance is expected to be between 150 and 200 people. Proceeds from the event all go to the food bank.

“Truthfully, we’ve never even broken even putting on this event. Usually, it costs us money,” Gooz said. “It just kept growing and kept growing. I don’t think any of us ever planned that we’d still be doing it 12 years later but it’s still going strong. We’re happy to do it every year.”


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