High School of Recording Arts students offer up track, plan benefit show for North Minneapolis tornado relief


With segments of North Minneapolis still ravaged from this past May's destructive tornado, the Twin Cities music community has stepped forward to raise money for relief efforts with a series of benefit concerts. Earlier this week, First Avenue announced that KRS-One would headline a benefit in the Mainroom, and tomorrow afternoon the High School of Recording Arts (also known as "Hip Hop High") is partnering with Rock the Cause to throw a fundraising concert to benefit the North Minneapolis Tornado Recovery Fund.

We talked to a few of the students at the St. Paul high school about a track they recorded to help raise money for tornado relief and how the North Minneapolis tornado has affected them.

[jump] "I have friends and family that live in North Minneapolis, and it was scary that I couldn't contact certain ones during the tornado. I thought the worst," says student Jayy Cryer, who helped to write the track "Another Day" along with other members of the HSRA's Urban Music Group. "But in writing this song, I realized that it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Although we lost a few material things I'm blessed that I did not lose a loved one."

"At our school, the High School for Recording Arts, we have a lot of students who live in that area and were affected by the storm," she continues. "We were all discussing the issue in our Urban Music class, where we put a lot of songs together to bring awareness to other things that are unheard like incarcerated people, and their life after release. This particular song was one that everyone in class wanted to be a part of. And we made that happen the best we could.. We wanted to show how the storm personally effected us, while telling people that it will be okay, they will see another day!

Jerrice Gardner, whose father and brothers live in North Minneapolis, says that he wanted to work on the track to help work through the feelings he was having in the storm's aftermath. "I recorded the track because I feel bad for north Minneapolis one of my friends lost his home along with many other people so I wrote my verse too explain how I feel about it," he says.

Cryer and Gardner agree that it's part of their responsibility as budding artists to use music to raise awareness of the issues that are affecting their lives. "I have been a part of many projects that I feel the whole world should be more aware of," Cryer says. "We hear a lot about glamorous life, death, and material things from artist. But why not do music about something that people really need to know about?"

"Another Day" is available for download for a suggested donation of $1 on their Bandcamp page. Students from the HSRA will be participating in a benefit concert and freestyle contest at their school tomorrow afternoon, Saturday, July 9, along with Kristoff Krane and Toki Wright, and the cover starts at a mere $3. All proceeds will benefit North Minneapolis tornado relief.

More info about the benefit is available on the Rock the Cause site. You can read more about Hip Hop High in our cover story about the school from last year.