ON THE SCENE: PORTLAND, OREGON
BY CHARLI TERMIKNOWLEDGEE
“Portland Hip hop day will be about our community growth and celebrating and honoring each other with Love & Respect for this culture we love: hip- hop,” says DJ O.G. One. “It’s the way STARCHILE would have had it.”
In 2015, Idris “StarChile” O’Ferrall joined DJ O.G.One, the Trail Blazers’ DJ, in organizing Portland’s Hip-Hop Day. PDX Hip Hop Day is a celebration of Hip Hop culture in the city of Portland. The day is dedicated to commUNITY utilizing the power of Hip-Hop to bridge gaps, build better relationships, gain clearer communication, and achieve stronger bonds. The event customarily held in October was moved to August 26th, recognizing the life and birthday celebration of StarChile; who recently passed in April of this year. (May he rest in power and peace) StarChile, a Portland native assumed numerous roles in the city’s Hip-Hop scene, beginning in the late ’90s as a student at Wilson High School. He ran his own label and hosted radio and TV shows. Ultimately and by chance began concert promotion and event hosting, elevating him in becoming a brand ambassador of our Hip-Hop culture.
I, myself a connoisseur of our Hip-Hop culture, decided to make my way to Portland, Oregon from Olympia, Washington the morning of the 26th. I started my drive with an array of classic Philly Boom Bap Beats, Slick Rick, Cool C, Steady B, eventually making my way to the ingenious lyrical stylings, and gritty, grimy beats of the Wu-Tang Clan. Arriving in Portland, I made my usual stops. Indulging my appetite for knowledge in the world’s largest independent bookstore; Powell’s and satisfying my craving with a mouthwatering slice and salad from Sizzle Pie. The time came to head over to Portland City Hall where PDX Hip Hop Day was being held, the beats, the scratches, and the rhymes could be heard blocks down the street where I parked my vehicle. Enthusiastic, my pace quickened, and I bobbed my head with every step I took getting closer to the sounds. When I arrived, I took a deep breath inhaling our culture, the graffiti, the food vendors, the hard work, the struggle, but most of all I inhaled the “spiritual form of intelligence, Love.” (KRS-ONE) I have been to many shows, block party gatherings, and such, but this was different. The appreciation everyone had for one another was incredible, it was sincere. Everyone was there for a sole purpose; artists, fans, journalists and promoters — especially those from the old school — have experienced a slew of club and venue closures, this event brought a solid foundation to a scarce resource.