After a string of successful tribute shows, local music collective The Communicators will return to Rhythm & Brews on Friday, April 19, to put their own spin on the history of hip-hop.
The event, called "Rapper's Delight" in honor of the legendary song by pioneering hip-hop group the Sugarhill Gang, will feature about a dozen of the Scenic City's finest emcees and musicians.
"A 'chronological tour' is what I've been calling it," said Bexy Ribeiro, a member of the group.
Also performing will be Bexy's Digital Butter bandmate Hunter White, multi-instrumentalists Danimal Pinson and Brett Nolan, as well as emcees E-rock, Sparkz FreeAgent, Warner MC, Floami Fly and Big Mike Mic. Local DJs State Looper, Skinny Ill and DJ Dolla Bill also will be joining the festivities.
Notably missing from the lineup are Danimal's Glowing Bordis bandmates and fellow Communicators founders TJ Greever and Jonathan Susman.
This will be the first Communicators show without them, though Greever noted that the band's perpetually revolving door keeps the show fresh and helps bring in a steady stream of new fans.
"It's a good platform to get people in the room and say, 'Let's see what's going on with these guys,' " he said.
As for the set list, neither Ribeiro or Greever would reveal much, but both emphasized that they would be covering the songs that "everybody knows the words to."
Besides the obvious goal of putting together an enjoyable and entertaining show, the higher purpose of The Communicators has always been to bring local musicians and their followers closer together to strengthen the city's budding music scene.
"We are trying to turn different parts of the community toward one another," Greever said.
That's one of the draws of having so many musicians coming through, Ribeiro said. "You get everybody's fan bases."
It also provides a great opportunity for each collaborating member to share original material with a wider audience.
"As musicians, we obviously love original music, but you can't get away from the fact that everybody wants to hear covers, so we like to mix the two worlds," Ribeiro added.
Aanen Butz is a communications major at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.