When looking down the list of stops on Tanya Morgan and Kooley High’s most recent tour, it seems like a normal list, hitting all of the major cities: Chicago, New York City and … Williamsburg. As a part of this year’s annual Student Hip-Hop Organization concert, Tanya Morgan and Kooley High will be headlining, accompanied by many local performers and additional acts.
This year’s show will be held tomorrow in the Sadler Center. SHHO is a club that focuses on exposing the College of William and Mary community to hip-hop. Every year, the club hosts a free concert with different local and national performers to highlight up-and-coming hip-hop music.
“Our goal with SHHO is to have students who never listen to hip-hop enjoy and listen to it,” SHHO president Blair Smith ’11 said. “They are able to meet the artists and buy their merchandise, and it is also a way for the artist to get his or her name out there.”
In order to provide these shows for free with a long list of performers including local artists Intalek, Nikelus F, Smiles Crew and JB, SHHO fundraises throughout the year and teams up with other organizations.
“This year we are co-sponsoring with IPEX, the Center for Student Diversity and [AMP] Late Nite funding,” Smith said.
In addition to performances, SHHO will be collecting donations for the J.Dilla Foundation. The J.Dilla foundation is a non-profit organization that helps fund inner city music programs and provides music scholarships.
“I thought it would be cool to add a service aspect to our shows,” Smith said.
While Kooley High has performed at the College before, it is Tanya Morgan’s first time visiting the Williamsburg area.
“I have never been there before,” Von Pea of Tanya Morgan said. “I think it’s going to be cool. It’s all ages and it’s free, so everybody can just come and check it out.”
The SHHO concert proves to be a very different performance from the other stops on Tanya Morgan and Kooley High’s High Fidelity tour.
“I’m looking forward to the experience of the show, not even so much any artist in particular,” Von Pea said. “Doing shows that are all ages are more fun for me. They appreciate it more.”
One of the local performers featured in this year’s concert is Jerome Waller ’12. Waller, who goes by the stage name JB, has recently become much more serious about his music.
“In middle school and high school it was just a hobby,” Waller said. “Last year I released my first mixed tape, and from there it has really just taken off. I have done a few radio shows and a few things locally since then.”
This will be Waller’s first time performing at the College. While he feels comfortable performing in front of countless strangers, performing for his peers is another story.
“I’m excited and also nervous,” Waller said. “Being in front of people that you know makes it a little different, especially at a school like ours where you don’t really see anyone outside of the classroom atmosphere.”
Waller became involved with SHHO after attending last year’s concert.
“I found out about it after last year’s annual show,” Waller said. “When I found out about it I got really interested. I went to a couple of things last semester and really joined this semester.”
For Smith, watching the club grow over the past three years has been a rewarding experience. This year’s show promises to be bigger than the past year’s shows.
“JB is a classmate of mine. I haven’t been able to see him perform so I am excited about that,” Smith said. “I am also excited about the B-Boy cipher, and especially about having other schools come out.”
For local performer Intalek it will be his fourth time performing at the College. Although not a member of SHHO, Intalek has been very involved with the organization.
“I was actually found by [Smith] through my music online,” Intalek said. “Word of mouth got around to [Smith] and SHHO, and she booked me for their show last year. From then on I have been in close contact with her about any upcoming performances.”
As the show date draws nearer, Smith and members of SHHO prepare for the biggest annual concert they have hosted at the College.
“I feel like it’s going to be a great event,” Smith said. “I envision it to be bigger than it has been since the three years on campus. It’s been getting a lot of attention.”