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Cedar Rapids gets 'Fresh'

Second annual Super Fresh Culture Fest this Saturday

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UPDATED: 21 January 2014 | 3:58 pm   ::  

When Rick Noggle and David Tisdale returned from their Lost in the Midwest Tour, the duo’s first, Noggle estimated that they’d made a profit of about $30. He shared that news with his friend and fellow MC, Steddy P.

“So it was a success,” Noggle said, recalling Steddy P’s reply.

For Noggle, a rhymesmith who goes by the name Imperfekt, the word “success” now has a new definition. Alongside Tisdale, who performs under the name Colorless, Noggle is behind Super Fresh Culture Fest 2, a celebration of live music, break-dancing and graffiti art, on Saturday.

“It’s not just, ‘I’m here and I’m gonna rap in your face,’” Tisdale says, describing the one-night festival. “It’s trying to capture the whole essence of the [hip-hop] movement.”

The details


Noggle and Tisdale, who are both from Cedar Rapids and will take the stage Saturday, are putting on the show for the second year. It began, in some ways, much earlier.

The concert’s moniker traces back to Super Fresh Saturdays, a series of informal monthly shows the duo used to host in part because there weren’t too many venues booking hip-hop or rap acts. The events drew talent from throughout the country and were their way of building the Cedar Rapids hip-hop scene and making connections.

The events ended in 2010 but Tisdale and Noggle still wanted to do their part to make sure there were events nurturing Cedar Rapids’ burgeoning hip-hop community. They’d wanted to do a show akin to Minnesota’s annual Soundset festival – which will count the legendary Snoop Dogg among its headliners this year – for Iowa. They just had to wait until they had the resources to make it reality, which finally happened in 2012.

“It was almost overwhelmingly successful, to see the lines of people waiting to get in,” Noggle says. “Last year was really a testing ground and this year we really had a great plan of how to make it run smoothly.”

When Noggle and Tisdale traveled the country in 2010, they called the trek the Super Fresh Everyday Tour. When they needed a name for the hip-hop festival, the answer was obvious.

“It was only right that this was the Super Fresh Culture Fest,” Noggle says.

Rather than try to pay big bucks to book a big name, a la Soundset, Noggle and Tisdale – who are coordinating everything from vendors to the venue – relied on their contacts from those Super Fresh Saturdays.

“We have so many friends who we think are talented, so we just call them up,” Noggle says.

The slate includes C-Rayz Walz of The Bronx, N.Y., KingHellBastard of Milwaukee, Wis. and the aforementioned Steddy P. of Kansas City, Mo., but most of the acts will be from Iowa. Fairfield, Dubuque, Des Moines and Iowa City will all be represented on the Super Fresh bill this year.

“We know that they have high energy and are good performing acts,” Tisdale says.

As of Wednesday, 300 people had already RSVPed “yes” on the Super Fresh Culture Fest 2’s Facebook event page. Noggle said he’s hoping for at least 400 people to attend, which he estimates was last year’s turnout.

While Noggle says “it’d be totally cool” if the event one day reaches Soundset’s stature, his goal is more about unity.

“We’re just doing this thing that brings everyone together,” he said. “As long as we’re making the hip-hop scene relevant here, I think that’s the main thing.”

The Notorious B.I.G. famously rapped “Mo Money Mo Problems,” but Noggle’s got something different in mind when it comes to the second incarnation of Super Fresh Culture Fest.

“We definitely need to make more than $30,” he said.

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