The What’s Up Lounge has become a cornerstone music venue in Mankato, drawing in artists from all genres, both local and popular names, across the board.
Despite hip-hop becoming a somewhat scarcer genre in the Mankato area, The What’s Up Lounge has remained a faithful host. One act that has consistently been supported at the venue is DJ Abilities of Rhymesayers Entertainment.
The Rhymesayers performance and production group has been frequenting the Mankato area since the early 2000s, but there’s one act that keeps returning: DJ Abilities. DJ Abilities, real name Gregory Keltgen, has been coming to Mankato to play shows for the past few years and will be spinning his mixes today at The What’s Up Lounge.
The show is 21-plus only and music begins at 10 p.m. The cover charge for the show is $10.
The opening acts for the performance include three local hip-hop artists, Phenom, T.Ly and ILL P.O.E. Noting their enthusiasm, Brandon Pulphus, known as Phenom, said it feels almost surreal.
“(We’re) extremely excited. We’re going to play in front of a lot of people we don’t usually get to perform for,” Pulphus said. “It’s sweet to see our names on the same flier as Abilities.”
Both Pulphus and Tyler Lyons, known as T.Ly, were inspired by hip-hop at a young age and performing with Rhymesayers’ acts, as well as other well-known Minneapolis rappers, has given them a chance to showcase their work.
Pulphus plans on using the opportunity of a bigger show to do something he has always wanted to do: stage dive.
“People can expect new music from me, but I’m really trying to stage dive,” Pulphus said. “It’s our time to shine.”
Lyons said: “I’ve always liked hip-hop. I was always the one freestyling at parties. ... I started writing and recording three years ago.”