Local hip hop concert aims to give back to city - Tucson News Now

Local hip hop concert aims to give back to city

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -
A group of local hip hop artists who will be featured at a downtown concert this weekend have a unique goal in mind.

Ian J. Noriega helped create a mixtape that features 50 local hip hop, jazz and R&B artists from Tucson.

Some of the artists will perform at an album release concert at the Rialto Theater Saturday night. It begins at 8 p.m.

But Noriega does not only want to sell records; he wants to sell a message.

The album, titled "The 520 Mixtape," showcases local talent and a growing local hip hop following in the city. But Noriega's prime goal is to improve the city he grew up in.

The 23-year-old is a native of Tucson but lived in Virginia before moving back to his hometown. Upon his return as a teenager, Noriega set out to make a difference in his life and in his community.

Noriega said 25 percent of the album's sales will go to a charity, which is undetermined but likely one that helps children, Noriega said.

Another 25 percent of proceeds will go to Tucson beautification projects, and Noriega has Broadway Boulevard in mind.

"Fix the sidewalks, fix the street lights, maybe get some Christmas lights in the medians so if you're standing on top of Mount Lemmon, you can see Broadway. And you know exactly it's the center of Tucson. That's where all the activity is," Noriega said.

Noriega's collaborators echoed the endeavors, saying an better-looking city can boost tourism and elevate its nightlife.

"It's just bringing a lot of the artists together. Because hip hop doesn't always have a straight following or just a good name behind it. Everybody thinks it's all about violence, but the movement here in Tucson has been progressing very nicely," said local rap artist Fernando Aguila Jr.
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