Make the music go pop

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Noah Fense (Beers) is the man behind the music, or rather the man behind the Pop-Off. The Pop-Off is a collective endeavor that was initiated by Fense and serves as a platform–a bridge between artists and musicians. Throughout, it brings artisan types together to mix the mediums.

According to Fense, the first Pop-Off went well. Vol. 2 is slated for Friday, July 29, at Photo City Music Hall.

The 28-year-old rapper is clever as hell, coming up with his own collective, “4C”–which stands for “conscious, conduits, constantly, connected.” And it shows more and more as it develops and manifests.

“We had art vendors and live painters working around the venue, painting to the music,” he says. “And I wanted to take up the idea of a pop-up event and add some more dimension to it.

Fense says Photo City Music Hall was the best place for it.

“They have a great vibe, a great staff, great production, updated sound system.”

He had been going to hip hop shows all of his life and  lately found them leaving him cold.

The hip hop scene was becoming something it was originally not. This bugged Fense.

“It just seemed like it was becoming more and more of a party and an escape instead of an experience,” Fence says.

“I’ve seen a lot of hip hop shows and a lot of the rappers are just rapping to a backing track and on stage just jumping around. It just seems more about the hype than the craft.” 

Fense says the Pop-Off is a way to nirvana.

“I want to book rappers with an overall positive message,” he says. “And shed a light on local acts who have a lot of talent.

“The reason I want to do this is I’ve been booked on gigs and the experience didn’t light me up,” he adds. “And now, I’m thinking of just performing at my own events and curating the experience.”

Fense loves EDM (electronic dance music).

“I think it adds to the Pop-Off vibe,” he says. “It’s high energy, it’s fun. And it adds to the networking space. Hip hop as well.

“Hip hop sometimes gets a bad rep because of what gets pushed in the mainstream. But I think hip hop at its core is very powerful. It speaks the truth to what goes on in your community. I just want to shine the light on Rochester and elevate these experiences for everyone.”

Pop-Off Vol. II presented by Foresee Collective and Parallel Path, featuring RCRCH, Noah Fense, Antipode, Stevie XOLO, BILAH and Icecreamninja; Friday, July 29, at Photo City Music Hall, 451-0047, 8 p.m. $10.  

Here’s a comprehensive list of live shows in and around Rochester: Get Your Gig On

Frank De Blase is Rochester Beacon music writer. The Beacon welcomes comments from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name.

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