When: Fri., Dec. 21, 8 p.m.-1:30 a.m. 2018
One of the most influential underground hip-hop voices stemming from San Francisco is, without a doubt, rapper and activist Sellassie. As an activist, he gained national notoriety for being part of the Frisco Five — Sellassie along with Equipto, his childhood friend who is also a rapper and activist, Ike Pinkston, Edwin Lindo, and Maria Gutierrez all took part in the 2016 hunger strike in response to police brutality against the Black and Brown community. Back in 2010, Sellassie, who now resides in Los Angeles, developed a project called The Rap Contest, bringing the event to different cities across the country. While the contest ultimately awards the winner a $1,000 cash prize, Selassie’s goal is to foster an event where independent artists can come together and showcase their freestyling and quick-witted verses. Sellassie understands the need to provide up-and-coming rappers a space to do so — the contest held in Oakland aims to do just that, and celebrate The Rap Contest’s $100,000 milestone.