By Mark Aceves
Promotions Team Member
The San Marcos music scene is represented by many genres (Alt-Rock, Shoegaze, Prog, and more), but a genre that is often underappreciated is Hip-Hop. Though, Hip-Hop is still present in the San Marcos music scene. One such example of Hip-Hop music in San Marcos is the Texas State Organization Hip-Hop Congress. During the evenings, in the halls of Centennial, you may hear the enthusiastic embrace of local Rap musicians as they teach, discuss, listen to, and make Rap music. There is much to discuss about Rap music and the Hip-Hop culture that surrounds the genre, and Hip-Hop Congress is just the place to do so. Hip-Hop Congress also hosts shows featuring their own members that are more akin to a homely community performing music for each other than watching some random students perform music.
Hip-Hop Congress was established in 2004 when (as Hip-Hop Congress president Salvador Patlan puts it) “Texas State students felt the need for expression through a different form of music: Rap.” The origins of Hip-Hop Congress also have a strong emphasis on “politics and social justice” both through and around Hip-Hop culture. Furthermore, creating a community around a culture that was created by marginalized people means that that culture may further be preserved. Historically, Hip-Hop Congress gathers weekly to discuss a Rap-related topic as well as play games related to that week’s topic and, at the end of every meeting, members are allowed to participate in “soundscan” wherein they show off music they’ve been working on. On top of this, Hip-Hop Congress has traditionally hosted shows since its creation, usually starting the year with ‘The Intro’ and ending with a Spring semester show.
Currently, Hip-Hop Congress “is [heavily focusing] on getting artists out there, spreading their message, and letting them feel accepted amongst their fellow students” according to President Salvador Patlan. With one event under their belt and at least three more to come (as of this semester), it’s safe to say that Hip-Hop Congress is ramping up their physical presence in San Marcos as is a goal mentioned by President Salvador Patlan. Their first show ‘House of Screams’ focused on Rage-Rap-styled music and garnered quite an excitable crowd at The Marc. Their soonest event ‘Gil’s Boiler Room’ is going to feature 5 DJs (2 of which are from Hip-Hop Congress) playing House music (a sister genre to Rap) at Gil’s Broiler. After that, they are hosting ‘San Motioon: An HHC Talent Show’ at The Marc where musicians and other
performers from across Texas State will perform for judges from deep within the music industry. Finally, the Fall semester’s ‘The Intro’ has yet to happen, although this is one of Hip-Hop Congress’ “bread-and-butter” performances as it features members performing their own Rap music.
As Hip-Hop Congress looks into the future, it seeks to “have a sense of loyalty not only to its members, but to its venues, advisors, and fellow students alike.” President Salvador Patlan wishes for Hip-Hop Congress to “have a cult following and have people know [their] name and [go there] to get their art out to Texas State.” He wants the club to be a “route where incoming creatives can join” and “feel like their art matters.” He notes that Hip-Hop Congress is how San Marcos could have a healthy Hip-Hop scene with “Hip-Hop heads of all genres.” It’s clear that President Salvador Patlan, and the club in general, is focused on the creation and maintenance of a Hip-Hop community by way of events and furthering discussion surrounding the topic.
Written by: Danielle De Lucia