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Second annual JuneFest brings hip hop to Rapid City

Twenty musicians are making their way to Rapid City to take part in a hip hop music festival. The best part, the two-day event is completely free to the public.

JuneFest is happening in Rapid City’s Memorial Park this Friday and Saturday. It’s the event’s second year.

Director and performer Trey McGaa said they want the show to challenge Rapid City’s usual tastes.

“When you think about it there’s nothing like it going on here," McGaa said. "We’d been throwing smaller shows for the last couple of years and we noticed a pattern, nobody else really does anything like that here, so why not be the ones to do it? And that’s the reason we made it free, so anybody and everybody can come to this.”

He said he wants people of all ages to give the music a chance.

"I think the arguable truth is most of our youth listens to hip hop – it’s the biggest thing among younger people, and especially us included," McGaa said. "It’s not anything against country, but that’s the only thing that ever happens here. There’s only country shows that go on at The Monument, there’s only country shows at Sturgis, or rock. I don’t know, it gives people who are hip hop heads a chance to come out and see something that they don’t get to see too often.

Co-director Leo Arguello said shows like these can change the perception of hip hop music.

“You know, it does bring a negative stereotype, hip hop music, but showing an event like JuneFest, not only we do it for free, but we do it for the community, all ages, to showcase that there isn’t negative that needs to be along with it, there’s a lot of positive as well,” Arguello said.

Last years’ JuneFest drew well over 2,000 people over its run, organizers said.

This year‘s event will also include giveaways for school supplies and bikes.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture