IF YOU GO
What: Bridge the Gap music festival
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Martini Brothers, inside the Creekside Golf Dome, U.S. Route 422, Girard
Admission: $3 ($5 for those 18 to 20 years old)
Lineup: Kraze tha Lost Son, Dead II Me, Danny Hedrix, Jay Mel, K-Awake, DaBoondox and Hoss and the Juggernauts
By GUY D’ASTOLFO
When it comes to hip-hop, DaBoondox stays true to itself.
The duo, who grew up on the not-so-mean streets of Girard, likes to keep it fun and entertaining.
Gangster braggadocio and repetitive posturing? It’s just not their style.
As a result, the act has made fans out of folks who weren’t interested in rap.
Bridge the Gap, the annual music festival the act started four years ago, flows from that outlook.
The festival will return Saturday at Martini Brothers bar and restaurant, inside the Creekside Golf Dome in Girard. It’s the first time the fest will take place in the summer.
DaBoondox — Troy Napier and Jeff Killin — talked about the event in a recent interview.
“The whole concept came in August of 2007 when we were in Vexfest,” said Napier. “Traditionally, it’s a rock thing. There is hip-hop, but it didn’t get as much coverage. That’s when we said, ‘Let’s bridge the gap.’
“We want to have a variety of music represented [at Bridge the Gap] in order to bring people in to see acts that they otherwise never would. They can still see who they want to see, but also get exposed to something new.”
Both are aware that gangsta rap and the fixation on self — money, women, cars and power — is a turnoff for many.
“Our songs are not just about us,” said Napier. “We think that’s demeaning to our audience. I don’t want to disrespect other rappers, but at the same time, it’s not our style of entertainment. We respect where that style is coming from, but we don’t want people to hate hip-hop, or be afraid of it, or say, ‘I don’t want to hear that all night.’ We want rock fans to see that this is hip-hop, too.”
In summary, as Napier put it, “It’s not war! We’re gonna have some fun!”
That stance means the local hip-hop community doesn’t always get behind them, said Napier. Still, the duo has no trouble filling a room.
At the most recent Vexfest in August, DaBoondox had one of the closing slots, taking the stage at 1:20 a.m. inside Downtown 36. “It was like a near-riot, with bottles flying,” said Napier of the rowdy crowd. “The people that were still there had been drinking for a while, and they needed someone to bring the energy.”
Bridge the Gap 2010 will include hip-hop and rock acts, including headliner Hoss and the Juggernauts, one of the Valley’s most popular bands.
In addition to DaBoondox, the lineup also includes rappers Kraze tha Lost Son, Danny Hedrix and Jay Mel, along with heavy rockers Dead II Me and K-Awake.
The evening will kick off at 7 with a hot-dog-eating contest. Music will start around 9, with each band getting about 30 minutes. DaBoondox and Hoss and the Juggernauts will do longer sets.
The stage for Bridge the Gap will look like a bridge construction site. The festival also will see the unveiling of DaBoondox’s new projection system, which will show customized videos for each song.
“We call it hip-hop theater,” said Killin.
DaBoondox is getting ready to release two CDs in coming months. First will be “DaPerfect Storm, Starring Black Thunda and White Lightning.”
“It is finished but is getting mastered now,” said Killin. A collection of songs the duo has been performing for a while but has never recorded, it should drop in late November.
The act will follow it with a CD of new music to be titled “Unorthodox.”