Courtesy of Stlvshiphop
A video billboard in Times Square features St. Louis' 25 best rappers as curated by STLVSHIPHOP.
Over the weekend, we caught wind of a video billboard in New York's Times Square shouting out St. Louis hip-hop.
Pretty cool! Turns out, it's been in rotation since Friday, right there next to Forever 21, at 45th Street and 7th Avenue. It features the 25 best St. Louis rappers, as curated by an up-and-coming rap promotions company called STLVSHIPHOP.
The 25 artists include a veritable who's who of local talent, including Lil Tay of 3 Problems
, Big Boss Vette and RFT
cover artist LA4SS
To learn how this came to pass, we called STLVSHIPHOP co-CEO Dre, who declined to give his full name. He says that his organization is all about supporting St. Louis artists.
"We’re about unity," he says. "When we kick this door down, everybody’s gonna get an opportunity."
The company promotes rappers through social media campaigns and billboards; his New York colleague purchased the Times Square billboard, which will be up until Friday. The company has also put up St. Louis billboards promoting its artists. (We love this trend of more and more St. Louis rappers on local billboards in recent years.)
STLVSHIPHOP's name comes from the "us vs. them" mentality for our vastly underappreciated scene, Dre goes on. "St. Louis hip-hop has been slept on in a major way 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 mainly through their Instagram page
. But putting together their top 25 was not without controversy, as these things often are. Before the list was completed, several artists, including World Tour Woo and and Karma 2ZZ, felt they deserved inclusion and so recorded special videos to make their case. Ultimately, they made the cut.
To all this, we say bravo. St. Louis hip-hop deserves far more national recognition than it gets, and if even a few shopping-bag saddled tourists took notice, we'll consider it a success.