ROCKFORD — The history of hip-hop in Rockford may run deeper than most people realize, and it goes beyond just rapping.
Hip-hop artist Victor Rivera of Rockford found his home in the genre through the art of breakdancing and being a deejay.
In the coming weeks, Rivere will use his new podcast, “Breaks, Beats, Boombap and BEYOND” to uncover forgotten stories of Rockford’s hip-hop past and examine those early starts and how they relate to the artist of today.
Rivera started breakdancing around 1999 and soon after became a deejay.
As he became more and more entrenched in the culture of hip-hop, Rivera not only discovered the different mediums through which the art form was expressed but the various artists who were practicing the craft long before him.
“There’s so much history in Rockford,” Rivera said. “Thrity-five years ago there were people here already deejaying similar to what we know now. So not only expanding people’s mindsets but opening up people to history that this culture has been around in Rockford for almost 40 years.”
“Breaks, Beats, Boombap and BEYOND” looks to bridge the gap between generations of hip-hop artists. The podcast give the younger generations a chance to hear from artists who came before them and let the older generations learn more about today’s artists.
Rivera believes the different eras have more in common than they realize.
“We tend to just forget the past, and I think the past tends to discredit the present. At the end of the day, I think we all have similarities,” Rivera said. “A lot of the minorities back then were still struggling with the same things 20, 30 years later.”
“Breaks, Beats, Boombap and BEYOND” first episodes are expected to be available everywhere podcasts can be downloaded by Thanksgiving.
Rivera’s admiration for hip-hop and Rockford has led him to create this platform.
He hopes the podcast will go a long way in adding to the history of Rockford’s hip-hop scene.
“I’m a fan of the culture. I’m a fan of the city,” Rivera said. “I want to learn, and I want to be able to share all these stories and these experiences and all these moments with everyone.”