Over the weekend, we caught wind of a video billboard in New York’s Times Square screaming St. Louis hip-hop.
Pretty cool! Turns out it’s been on rotation since Friday, right next to Forever 21 on 45th Street and 7th Avenue. It features the top 25 rappers in St. Louis, curated by a rising rap promotions company called STLVSHIPHOP.
The 25 artists include a veritable who’s who of local talent, including 3 Problems’ Lil Tay, Big Boss Vette and RFT LA4SS cover artist.
To find out how it went, we called STLVSHIPHOP co-CEO Dre, who declined to give his full name. He says his organization is all about supporting St. Louis artists.
“We’re about unity,” he said. “When we break down that door, everyone will have an opportunity.”
The company promotes rappers through social media campaigns and billboards. his New York colleague bought the Times Square billboard, which will be up until Friday. The company also set up billboards in St. Louis promoting its artists. (We love this trend of more and more St. Louis rappers hitting local billboards in recent years.)
The name STLVSHIPHOP comes from the “us versus them” mentality for our vastly underrated scene, continues Dre. “St. Louis hip-hop has been sleeping a lot since Nelly. We’ve got so much talent. We’re just trying to let the world know.”
The company was born about two years ago, operating primarily through its Instagram page. But building their top 25 was not without controversy, as is often the case. Before the list was complete, several artists, including World Tour Woo and Karma 2ZZ, felt they deserved to be included and therefore recorded special videos to make their point. In the end, they made the cut.
To all this, we say bravo. St. Louis hip-hop deserves way more national recognition than it gets, and if even a few tourists stuffed with shopping bags noticed it, we’ll consider it a hit.