There's a growing movement in the music scene in South Minneapolis, one favoring collaborative energy and free-spirited abandon above all else. They call it "wag," and you may have heard the term thrown around at a number of parties of the past year or so. A series of Wag parties have emerged at bars over the past few months, and this Sunday's Wag Out Block Party is the biggest yet, a culmination of the collective efforts of a number of best and brightest of local talents. Below, get a sense of what "wag" really means.
Long-time mainstays of the rap scene Illuminous 3 join the fresh and quickly-growing girl group The Chalice to headline a day of fun, diverse acts and free beer (you heard right -- while supplies last, of course). "The line-up consisted of those who have cultivated a positive movement within the cities, and also those that we felt are going to do the same in their future," says Sophia Eris of the Chalice, saying the day will be filled with "good energy, paint, dope music, and fly people".
There's a long list of fly people involved, and the umbrella of wag extends over a wide range. Hip-hop, funk, dance, R&B, and many instances of the hybrid forms of these will all be present, with rappers Meta and Sean Anonymous hosting in an attempt to wrangle them together. The Wag Out Party website recently dropped a free mixtape that helps shine a light on all the sounds that will be present at the block party, collecting quality tracks from those that wag. Though difficult to truly define, there's definitely a spirit to this wag business, so we asked some of the artists involved what the word means to them:
Lizzo, of The Chalice and Lizzo and the Larva Ink: "All I know is when you're waggin, you're happy."
Claire de Lune of The Chalice: "The spirit of Wag, to me, is summertime. Being outside, with your friends, in the sunshine, dancing. That's the essence of it. It makes perfect sense to have a block party celebrating South Minneapolis hip-hop. That just seems so natural to me. The Chalice are strong believers in dancing our asses off when we perform, and we expect our audience members to do the same. It's an interactive show. We want people to have fun, and let loose!"
Sophia Eris of The Chalice: "To me it means pure happiness. Freedom."
Charlie Smith, of Umami and Dixso: "To me Wag is the equivalent of wilin out, cutting loose, literally shaking one's ass. I'm hoping to get people dancing by bringing some energy and jumping around the stage as much as I can. I'm really happy to get to play with two different groups at the block party. This will be the first daytime show for UMAMI and Disxo so it'll be interesting seeing what happens when you mix typically night-time party music with natural light."
Culture Cry Wolf's Botzy (who will be performing a solo set): "Smile. Party. Shake ya butt. Block static. Take off your shoes and move your feet!"
Freez of Illuminous 3: "My crew was asked to headline due to the fact it was our crew along with Mike Mictlan and Greg Grease who created the term on some clownin' shit. Wag can be anything really, long as its not wack. It can be a pronoun, a verb, a person, etc: 'I'm bout to Wag the fuck out at the Block Party' pretty much is me telling you i'm finna get it in for real Sunday. A lot of different people take to it differently. My guy's pops who's a chef be sayin' shit like, 'Yea I just had to Wag out on this Gumbo' or to describe wack shit we be sayin stuff like "Oh Michele Bachman, that bitch aint Waggin!' Anything bad is NOT WAG, remember that if nothing else."
Chantz Erolin of Audio Perm (who will be performing alongside 80H20): "Wag is like not giving a fuck about the outside world in the most loving way imaginable. We here, we waggin, we doing exactly what we were put on this earth to do and this is us and this is it and maybe, hopefully, if we wag really hard, not only can WE do this forever, but other people will realize that they can do this forever and everyone can wag with us and the world will just be waggery with us. Wag is anarchism to me. We're all in this together, so wag on that with me.