Around Hear: Block Party

Documentary captures Cleveland hip-hop scene

The new DVD Live From the Block: Cleveland documents Cleveland hip-hop culture in the clubs, studios and streets. Filmed during 2006 and 2007, the disc features appearances by Cleveland stars, including Al Fatz, Chip tha Ripper, Young Trelle, Ray Cash, Corey Bapes, the Kickdrums and more than a dozen others. 

"The DVD's about the urban culture of Cleveland," says director Joseph "Teflon" Hairston, a Cleveland native who now splits time between Los Angeles and Atlanta. "From the places they live to the cars they drive." The disc doesn't present any complete live performances but has clips from club shows by local and national talent. Segments are from concerts by national stars such as Young Jeezy and Gucci Mane, with footage from Moda and Metropolis. In another part, rappers pay tribute to Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.

Outside the clubs, the disc captures scenes from the East 55th Street Marathon, a late-night hot spot. The DVD also celebrates the Cavaliers' 2007 journey to the NBA championship.

DJs Phatty Banks (who's one of the film's production partners) and T.J. Withers contributed to the soundtrack score. Other music includes beats from onetime Clevelanders L.T. Moe (who has worked with Ludacris) and Young Yonny (who's made tracks for Lil Wayne).

The trailer is online at

¥ Chip tha Ripper has picked up sponsorships from DC Shoes and California clothing company Gold Coin. His new mixtape, Can't Stop Me, drops Sunday, August 24. It's available as a free download at Clevelanders Ray Cash, Kid Cudi, the Kickdrums and Romi contribute to the mix, and it has appearances by national rappers Kidz in the Hall and Mickey Factz.

"The mixtape is different from my last one," says Chip. "It's not dedicated to the club scene. It's got a hip-hop flavor to it - we had to bring that back to the scene. It's like an album. It's more subtle and smooth."

¥ Matt Wascovich and Nate Scheible - two utility infielders for Scarcity of Tanks, Self Destruct Button and others - are presenting My Mind Is Topped #2 from Saturday, August 23, through Thursday, August 28, at Pat's in the Flats (West Third and Literary streets, Tremont). The consecutive nightly shows are a genre-less showcase for local talent, and the performances will range from rock to free-form freak-outs. Some scene notables will collaborate for the first time; players include Neil Chastain, Rich Raponi, Ed Stephens, Dan Wenniger and Scott Pickering. All shows are free; for a full lineup, visit

¥ Crossover crushers Schnauzer and Crossface will celebrate a new split 7-inch EP with a release party on Saturday, August 23, at Now That's Class (11213 Detroit Ave.). Schnauzer's tracks - two odes to insanity and steroids - are online at The band plans to record more tracks at the end of the month, for another split with Cleveland punks Punching Moses.

¥ Metal-rawk brutes Abdullah return to action on Friday, August 22, at the Jigsaw (5324 State Rd., Parma), which will mark the band's first Cleveland show since April 2007. "Life keeps getting in the way," says frontman Jeff Shirilla. "We had a full album's worth of stuff written and recorded, but I decided it sounded too much like Mastodon and scrapped it all. We do have something else waiting in the wings." [email protected]

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