Check the rhyme

Local twenty-somethings Jake Heinitz and Taylor Madrigal turn their underground hip-hop vision into a full-fledged block party.

Business senior and No Static Records founder Jake Heinitz, left, and Audio Perm producer Taylor Madrigal, right, are the organizers of the first Audio Perm Block Party.

Anthony Kwan

Business senior and No Static Records founder Jake Heinitz, left, and Audio Perm producer Taylor Madrigal, right, are the organizers of the first Audio Perm Block Party. “Audio Perm Block Party” is exposing a new underground hip-hop scene.

Mark Brenden


Audio Perm Block Party

When: 2-10 p.m., Aug. 27,

Where: Shuga Records parking lot

Who: Pac Div, Toki Wright, I Self Devine, others

Cost: $10 advance;$15 at the door

ItâÄôs no secret that Rhymesayers Entertainment has a vice-grip on the wrist of Minneapolis hip-hop. To start a hip-hop label or festival in this town isnâÄôt unlike opening a department store across the street from Walmart. But two youngsters âÄî both in their early 20s âÄî set out to challenge the monster.

University of Minnesota business senior and No Static Records founder Jake Heinitz, along with Audio Perm producer Taylor Madrigal are announcing âÄúAudio Perm Block Party,âÄù their humble alternative to RhymesayersâÄô now-huge Soundset Festival. The Block Party, which will take place in the parking lot of Shuga Records, is already picking up speed nearly a month before it kicks off. The organizing pair estimates roughly 1,000 people to witness their hip-hop showcase. In addition to well established names like Southern California trio Pac Div, RhymesayersâÄô Toki Wright and I Self Devine, the bill packs a lineup of decidedly under-the-radar acts.

Though Heinitz and Madrigal lack anything but ambition, they have no delusions regarding the audacity of their task, and both express admiration for the clan that put Minneapolis hip-hop on the map.

âÄúItâÄôs like you know your big brother could kick your ass, but that doesnâÄôt mean youâÄôre not going to challenge him every day on the basketball court,âÄù Heinitz said. âÄúYouâÄôre going to work really hard and maybe one day you could beat him, but that doesnâÄôt mean you donâÄôt look at him as a brother.âÄù

âÄúI love [Rhymesayers]. I gotta give thanks to them,âÄù Madrigal added. âÄúIf it wasnâÄôt for them, nobody would be paying attention … ItâÄôs not âÄòforget about them; weâÄôre the new shit.âÄô We want to build off of what they created.âÄù

Their respect for the big brother is clear in action as well. Two of the acts at Audio Perm Block Party âÄî Toki Wright and I Self Devine âÄî are signed Rhymesayers. But the crux of the lineup exists in the discreet underbelly of Minneapolis hip-hop. Young groups like The Tribe & Big Cats!, Duenday and MadrigalâÄôs own Audio Perm are what the organizers perceive to be the future of Minneapolis hip-hop.

Wright, who has been doing limited shows while working on a new album, said he respects what Heinitz and Madrigal are doing.

âÄúI think everybody should have an alternative to Rhymesayers. I was an alternative to Rhymesayers before I was a Rhymesayer. The only way this scene is gonna grow is if there are multiple, talented groups.âÄù

One thing that Audio Perm has on their side in their quest to be heard is this cultureâÄôs fleeting attention span for what is cool. Though Rhymesayers and DoomtreeâÄôs grapple hold on the scene has hardly loosened, the culture has a knack for turning on artists when they donâÄôt feel full possession over them.

âÄúEverybody thinks itâÄôs not cool to like something just because other people like it,âÄù Madrigal said. âÄúPeople want it to be their own thing; they want to have it just to themselves. I think thatâÄôs [expletive]. If you want to like something, like it. DonâÄôt just not like it because somebody else likes it. ThatâÄôs stupid.âÄù

Madrigal and Heinitz certainly have green in their eyes. The formerâÄôs astute ear for music complements the latterâÄôs entrepreneurial eye for success. Heinitz spent his summer traveling across America, keeping his ear to the hip-hop soil, while Madrigal stayed back surveying and participating in that of Minneapolis.

Time will tell if the soil hears them back.