MUSIC Hip Hop
How does Hip Hop function as a social outlet for the people of North Omaha?
On Purpose: Hip Hop in Omaha
Research compiled by Jaysean S., Lee B., Seven. W., Jazlyn H., Angel P., and Aidan M.
Published on August 5, 2017
Students created this documentary as part of the OPS Making Invisible Histories Visible initiative.
This is a flyer for talent show held at the OPS TAC Building in 1998. Flyers such as this one were used to promote talent shows searching for local talent. Representatives from labels such as Virgin and Polygram records would come to judge. Talent shows were one way people in the hip hop community shared their talents (Flyer courtesy of Chris Moore).
This is a cassette tape single of “Got My Back”. DJ Mista Soull recorded the track in 1999 in Omaha with his group, Young Rebels. We interviewed two members of the Young Rebels group: Mike Dunham ("DJ RIP") and Daryle Cox ("DJ MISTA SOULL"). They talked about how the group started in 1987. Young Rebels are important because they made hip hop big in Omaha when they went to New York and learned more about hip hop culture and music. Many people in Omaha were influenced by the hip hop culture they brought back and that’s how hip hop got big. (Courtesy of Chris Moore.)
Rainbow Recording Studio, located at 2322 S 64th Ave in Omaha, has a long connection to hip hop. It was opened in 1976 by Nils Ericson. This location is significant because one of the first hip-hop jingles was recorded at Rainbow Recording Studio. It was recorded for Max I. Walker Dry Cleaner. Many big stars have recorded at Rainbow Recording Studio such as Lady Gaga and 311. The hip hop group the Beastie Boys recorded there for three days.
The first hip hop record made in Omaha was made by DJ Rip in 1997. It was made and produced in Omaha, Nebraska. It was a part of the beginning of Omaha’s hip hop scene. This 12-inch record had a plain black cover. In the middle of the record, where the label is, it has a cartoon of a crew of people and the names and titles of all the songs on the album. The background is a cream color that fades into a soft red color. One reason that album is important is that DJ Rip shouted out every DJ that was big in the area at the time.
Power 106.9 is a radio station in Omaha Nebraska. Power 106.9 has been on the air for more than 10 years. Power 106.9 is important to hip hop because they air songs from the hip hop genre, which people can hear and enjoy. Power 106.9 allows the community to be inspired by what is happening in the local scene through a weekly show focused on indie hip hop. The station plays music for people who need it, whether they are cleaning, jamming out for fun, parties or for need something to help them with their emotions. Power 106.9 is located on the outside of Dundee, a popular and historic area near 50th and Dodge.
The five members of the Young Crew Boys are aged five to fourteen. These young individuals rehearse at the Fontenelle Park Pavilion. The Fontenelle Park Pavilion was a popular boxing gym. Chris Smith is the group’s manager at the age twenty-seven. A notable place they performed was at the Black Music Awards. This group is important because they are a role model for young boys. You had to keep a C average, therefore it made children want to keep their grades up to participate. They showed aspiring children that they could do great and be recognized nationally. It also kept the five children active and out of trouble. Fontenelle Park Pavilion is located on 4407 Fontenelle Blvd. in Omaha.
Ashley Howard, Chapter 1 "The State of Omaha Blacks", Masters’ thesis, Then the Burning Began.
DJ RIP, Houston Alexander, personal communication, July 18 2017.
Jesse J. Otto, Masters’ thesis, Contemporaries: Black Orchestras in Omaha before 1950.
Midland Alliance, "Rockin’ the B-boy Language."