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Rhymes & Lyrics - The event blending hip-hop and RnB with poetry for National Poetry Day

Hip-hop and RnB are not what most people think of when they hear ‘National Poetry Day’. However, Craft, the co-share space for the film, radio, and television industry in Tauranga, has developed a new event to showcase poetry in a new light.

Developed to do something different than the usual poetry slam, Rhymes & Lyrics was created to showcase the hip-hop side of poetry and expose the local hip-hop talent from the Bay of Plenty and national artists.

Rhymes & Lyrics will offer original local flavours of spoken word, hip-hop and RnB to Totara Street attendees on National Poetry Day, Friday, 25th August 2023, for a new take on poetry many may have never seen. The performers taking over Totara Street for Rhymes & Lyrics are travelling from around the country, with locals Mr Ridl (Papamoa) and Ronna Grace (Whakatane) joining in, as well as Christchurch’s King Cass and Hamilton’s 4 Corners to headline the night. Fellow artists Captain Houndstooth, King Cass, Jenna, Phreaze, and Archaeo will also perform. Local DJ, DJ Ayesha will be bringing the sounds to Rhymes & Lyrics as a featured artist.

Event Organiser, Dhaivat Mehta, says this event will bring out a different crowd than those who usually attend poetry events.

“With mixing in hip-hop and RnB, it’s going to provide more variety and bring out the hip-hop and RnB community in Tauranga, which is vast but isn’t often highlighted.”

“We aim to host the event annually and continue to incorporate more artists, both local and visiting, to evolve the performers and continue to get more theatrical acts,” says Dhaivat. “With the broadening of performances each year, we’d expect to see the attendees expand into a wider range of people which is really exciting.”

The local Tauranga Western Bay Community Event Fund (TWBCEF) has supported this event by recently approving a grant of $4,000 to support the organiser's costs of promoting and hosting the event.

Nelita Byrne of Tauranga City Council says the fund sees significant value in the efforts Craft is making to connect and engage the wider community with arts.

“It’s fantastic to be able to support opportunities for people to experience a wider range of performances through Rhymes & Lyrics. Poetry, hip-hop and RnB are expressions – of thoughts, emotions, and experiences. This event will show a different flavour of performances appealing to different genres in our community. The aim for this event is that they will be able to expand year on year to continue showcasing the wider range of poetry.”

For more information on Rhymes & Lyrics and to purchase tickets, head to Totara Street’s website.