Hip-hop collective Unheard Entertainment celebrates its one-year anniversary on Aug. 5 at The Royal American with performances from local and regional artists | Photo by Kirb Shots

Collaboration is key for the members of Unheard Entertainment, a hip-hop collective founded by rapper Nu, a rising star in the local scene. The group produces shows spotlighting dynamic artists, helping to foster a sense of community as well as bring broader recognition to the talent that exists in Charleston’s hip-hop.

Unheard Entertainment began organizing shows last summer and is made up of official members Nu, Ben Beam, Chemi$t, Mos Stef, Matt Graham, Cam Major, SmxkeDoji, Winslow and Elijah.

“Nu is the workhorse. … He is the organized one,” said member Ben Beam, a producer and artist who books shows for the group.

“We move as a unit,” he said. “I think that’s why it works. Everyone is able to take on whatever role they need to.”

Unheard Ent. has a stacked calendar of shows scheduled at local venues like the Purple Buffalo and LO-Fi Brewing this summer. On Aug. 5, the collective will present The Unheard Experience Reloaded at The Royal American, featuring artists Slim S.O.U.L., Toni Esther, Krystal, Indi Gxld, Semkari and Rekyndl.

According to Beam, the show stands to usher in a new era of the Unheard Experience and celebrates a year of the collective working together. The group’s debut event last August at the Charleston Pour House was also the first time Beam performed live, so the upcoming event will be something of a full circle moment for everyone involved.

“Watching the stage presence of the guys from last summer to this summer has just been so amazing,” Beam said. “The way they can control a crowd — I’m really excited to see that in this setting.”

Listeners will also be able to hear Nu’s recent highly acclaimed album THIS IS BABYLON with a live band.

“It’s the first time we’ve operated with a live band like that, and I think it will really elevate things,” Beam said. “Nu loves running through the crowd and getting people involved. It really is an experience.”

Unheard Ent. plans to continue to promote a sense of community between producers, emcees and artists in the hip-hop scene, bringing a diverse group together for every show and serving as an example of how the whole lifts up the individual.

I think hip-hop, especially in South Carolina, is important in the roots of the history here.”Ben Beam

“I think hip-hop, especially in South Carolina, is important in the roots of the history here,” Beam said. “I’m not going to speak for everyone, but I know it’s an incredibly popular genre in the state, and it just surprises me that the scene here in the past hasn’t been what I imagined it could be.”

He and the other members of Unheard Ent. believe that artists joining forces generates the creativity that will help catapult Charleston’s hip-hop scene to the next level.

“It’s very hard to be a one-man show. You need help from people, whether that’s producers, whether that’s other artists. I think things just flow better when people are willing to put the ego to the side and willing to see what kind of art can happen.”

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