As a self-proclaimed “Man of the People”, there’s never been a better time for this homegrown producer and promoter to be grinning. His dudes in Ghost Gun Collective are putting Indianapolis rap on the map, his sixth Beat Battle is about to take over The Vogue, and he’s actually got a clothing line in the works. It would be weird if he wasn’t cheesing from ear to ear most days of the week.
His sixth annual Beat Battle is going down at The Vogue on Saturday the 23rd, and expectations are higher than ever. This grassroots clash of producers boasts every brand of hip-hop style imaginable. From EDM to old-school hip-hop, this 16 man battle will truly test each producer’s chops. Tony Styxx , a JBBB competitor at last year’s event, popped through our interview at Sabbatical and had some wisdom to share.
“Nobody’s beat battle, anywhere, is better than the Jay Brookinz Beat Battle. It’s fair, it’s precise, and there’s no favoritism,” said Styxx as he walked back into the restaurant with a guitar slung over his back.
Starting as an event at the Broad Ripple Music Festival, Brookinz and his friends got the whole thing kicked off six years ago, and have never looked back.
“This is the real deal!” exclaimed Brookinz, “If we don’t make the real deal, than the real deal won’t happen”.
This seems to be the mindset with the majority of Indy’s recent cultural explosion. Microbreweries, artists and restaurants alike seem to be continually founded by Indy natives, because they want to see it happen here. Brookinz has even hung up his artist hat, for the time being, to focus on making the beat battle an enormous cultural event for Indianapolis.
With this night gaining momentum every year, its fair to say that the historic Vogue is the ideal place for it. However, with the recent string of violence looming over the neighborhood’s head, some people may feel skeptical about heading into Broad Ripple at all, let alone for a hip-hop battle. Brookinz and Styxx made it abundantly clear that the JBBB is a drama-free night.
“It pains me that Broad Ripple has a bad reputation now, and I want to combat that. I want to bring back the good,” he stated as he and this writer reminisced about the days when The Village was more than just a party strip.
Back when Broad Ripple was the sole epicenter of Indianapolis art and culture, there seemed to be less booze-fueled confrontation. Maybe an arts revival is just what this little community needs, and maybe the beat battle itself can be a catalyst for the area’s “Stop the Violence” campaign.
“The only thing we’re beating up is people’s ear drums”, he enthusiastically stated.
With the deep and talented music scene that’s rising all across Indy, it’s a boon to Broad Ripple to be the host of such a prominent cultural act. Brookinz dreams of an artistic and cultural renaissance across the metropolitan area, with Ripple at the center.
Music is only one of his visions, though, as he prepares to launch his own clothing line. Stemming from the success of his hilarious 4/20 t-shirt, this line will take on a unique, and slightly more serious vibe. Be sure to grab a hat or shirt while at the JBBB!
By the way, this line-up is stacked. Look for live tunes by local legends such as Grey Granite, Pope Adrian Bless, and Sirius Blvck. Legendary DJ Topspeed will be present, as will be Maxie (Young Tone). There will be plenty of new and old favorites streaming through The Vogue, and going head to head for that $500 cash prize.
We thought the man had gone mad last year when he and Grey Granite embarked on a bike ride adventure from Broad Ripple to the westside’s Victory MFG, venue for JBBB 2013. Continually setting the bar higher for himself, this year Brookinz has cooked up one of the most unique marketing ideas the flier-lined streets of Broad Ripple has ever seen. He will camp outside the venue for two full days to talk to the citizens and patrons of Broad Ripple and encourage them to attend the sixth annual Jay Brookinz Beat Battle.
Brookinz will be tweeting, greeting, and chatting with the local folks to drum up support for Indy’s most prominent night in hip-hop. His dream is to “do what I love to do” and who can pish-posh that? With an army of talented musicians, music lovers, and culture purveyors in Indianapolis, the time has never been riper for Brookinz, and all of Indy, to follow their wildest dreams and make this city a more vibrant place to live.