Cedar Rapids’ Super Fresh Culture Fest enters its third year

Super Fresh Culture Fest
R.A. the Rugged Man performs at the 2013 Hip Hop Kemp Festival. — photo courtesy of Rusty Shack

On a scale of 1 to 10, how “fresh” would you say you are? 1 being “not fresh at all” and 10 being “super fresh?” If you answered with any number other than 10, you need to check out the Super Fresh Culture Fest in Cedar Rapids, coming up this Saturday.

Entering its third year, the Super Fresh Culture Fest is a day-long outdoor festival celebrating Eastern Iowa’s hip-hop scene. With eighteen acts playing from noon to midnight, the lineup is a who’s who of the Midwest rap world, with Iowa City’s AWTHNTKTS and Des Moines’ Maxilla Blue on the bill, as well as the Minneapolis-based Ill Chemistry and Chicago’s Qwel. And just for good measure, the incredible R.A. the Rugged Man is headlining the whole thing.

After 25 years in the industry, R.A. the Rugged Man has earned a reputation as an apparition of sorts in the rap world. He’s worked with countless hip-hop legends, like Mobb Deep, Notorious B.I.G. and the Wu-Tang Clan, and collaborated with producers like DJ Quik and The Alchemist. Yet he’s only released two full-length albums, each of which took at least a decade to complete.

His career has been stuttered by label disputes, self-sabotaged shows (a CMJ showcase in the mid-’90s famously lead to a mini-riot after he threw speakers at the audience), and a handful of shelved albums. Thankfully, the past five years have been kind to him — his latest record, Legends Never Die, debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart and was met with rave reviews. To put it plainly: this is a rare chance to see one of the most enigmatic hip-hop artists alive, and one who is always full of surprises.

But hey, there’s a ton of stuff to do if you’re not a huge hip-hop head. With more than a dozen art, clothing, and jewelry vendors, as well as a variety of games (a horseshoe pit, volleyball nets, and that beanbag game everyone loves so much) and graffiti and skateboard demonstrations, there will be plenty to do if you want a break from those beats and rhymes.

The festival will be held outside, rain or shine, at A Touch of Class (5977 Mt. Vernon Road in Cedar Rapids, Iowa). Tickets are $16 in advance (until 5 p.m. on the day of the festival) and switch to $20 from 5-11 p.m. Tickets are just $5 for those with a student ID, and children 12-and-under get in free with a parent or guardian.

Super Fresh Culture Fest Lineup

Sotr Caf 12:00 – 12:25 p.m.
DJ Richie Daggers 12:30 – 12:55 p.m.
The Cribbies 1:00 – 1:20 p.m.
Bill Thousand 1:25 – 1:45 p.m.
Fooch 1:50 – 2:15 p.m.
J-Remy & Farroh 2:20 – 2:55 p.m.
Tone Da Boss 3:00 – 3:25 p.m.
Awthntkts 3:30 – 3:55 p.m.
40 oz Killers 4:00 – 4:25 p.m.
CR & IC Breakers 4:30 – 5:05 p.m.
Colorless 5:10 – 5:40 p.m.
Dana Coppa & Speak Easy 5:45 – 6:15 p.m.
Maxilla Blue 6:20 – 6:50 p.m.
Steddy P & DJ Mahf 6:55 – 7:25 p.m.
Qwel 7:30 – 8:05 p.m.
Imperfekt 8:10 – 8:45 p.m.
Ill Chemistry 8:50 – 9:35 p.m.
R.A. the Rugged Man 9:40 – 10:30 p.m.

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