Design by Daniel Pellissier

Matt Crowley/The AS Review

A rare opportunity will present itself to Western students on Friday, April 15 when the Associated Students club Music for Change hosts LyricallySOUND, its second event of the year.

The hip-hop-centric show will allow students to see live performances from Puget Sound-based artists and  will also encourage participation in local nonprofit organizations and charities. The free, all-ages show starts at 7 p.m in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room.

Music for Change was founded in November 2010 by Western students Carlton Eide and Jasmine Utu. The purpose was to “bring together the WWU community and groups that support social engagement in Whatcom County through all-ages music,” according to their Facebook page. The group’s first event, Localpalooza, went off in January and proved immensely popular.

“We’re accomplishing our goal with LyricallySOUND by providing an event that brings together music from the Puget Sound area and nonprofits that is also free,” Eide said.

The show will feature Seattle artists Sol and Canary Sing, as well as Bellingham-based group The Productionists and a handful of other local acts that will play between sets. As for the decision to host a hip-hop show, Eide and Utu said that they felt like exploring other genres after the rock-focused Localpalooza show.

“We’re not affiliated with one specific genre of music, so we just wanted to communicate another type of music,” said Utu.

“We wanted to reach another audience on campus,” added Eide. “Our last show was a lot of rock, a lot of guitar-based music, so we wanted something that would capture a different audience so that we could spread our message to them.”

However, the event is not all about music, as club member Alex Campos explained, “The whole point of it is that it’s 50/50 in that it’s promoting and spreading awareness of local music, but at the same time – and what I think is the coolest part about it – is spreading awareness and raising money for other groups on campus.”

A number of groups will be represented at the show, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Make.Shift, Run for MS Club, Communities in Schools of Whatcom County, Amy’s Place for Youth, the Alternative Humane Society of Whatcom County, Sustainable Bellingham, Response Ability Builders and the Student Marketing Association. The Western Red Cross Club will also be in attendance accepting donations for earthquake and tsunami relief in Japan.

The event also features local screen printing and design company Innate, which will do live screen printing. All of their apparel will feature original Innate designs, and if enough items are sold, a portion of the profits will go toward one of the nonprofits attending the event.

Hip-hop and social activism have long gone hand-in-hand, and according to Madeleine Clifford, who along with Hollis Wong-Wear comprises Canary Sing, they are no different.

“We’ve always been involved in different nonprofit groups and we’ve spent a lot of time working with nonprofit groups,” she said. “Giving back to the community is a big part of our lives, not just as artists.”

True to the “50/50” nature of LyricallySOUND, both Eide and Utu had different answers when asked what they were most excited to see.

“I’m excited that we have so many different nonprofits,” said Utu. “It’s really cool to see that so many organizations in the community are supporting this. Even the Red Cross was like, ‘I’m so happy you guys are holding this event,’ because music does affect a lot of people.”

“The artists too, they’re fantastic,” said Eide. “Sol is one of the biggest upcoming rappers, but he’s also a university student so it’s really cool to see musicians like that making great music. Canary Sing are one of the greatest female hip-hop groups I’ve ever seen; they’re very much involved in the social aspect of hip-hop. The Productionists too, have been doing it so long in Bellingham. We’re not just doing a show to bring bands we think are cool, these guys are really awesome groups and we really respect them.”