IllVibeTheTribe’s AsiahMae spoke with 2018 City Paper Music Awards’ Hip-Hop Artist of the Year Abstract That Rapper, who’ll perform at this weekend’s Cultura Festival. Charleston’s first all-hip-hop, dance, and R&B fest, Cultura debuts at the Royal American on Sat. April 20 (Four-20, y’all) at 5 p.m.

CP: Why do you feel Cultura is important?
ATR: I think this Cultura festival is important simply because it encapsulates so much of they types of music and styles people who look like me listen to on a daily basis, music that took the downtown Charleston scene a seemingly long time to engage and embrace with. For me this festival represents a long time in the making, (thanks to all those creatives over the years who’ve repeatedly beaten on doors to allow everyone else a chance to at least look in the room if nothing else). Ultimately, for me Cultura is the larger crack in the glass ceiling artists have encountered over the years.

CP: Why is it important for you to be a part of this inaugural festival?
ATR: For me this is really a sign that I’m heading in the right direction musically and socially because every single one of the artists on the bill I have come in contact with whether it was me after a show expressing how dope I thought they are to me doing songs, growing ideas, and performing together with. Honestly, I’m still in awe that i was asked to join and I will not take this opportunity lightly. I think back to first coming to Charleston for orientation thinking in the back of my head thinking how badly I wanted to spread my roots, musically, here. I made a promise to myself to take advantage of any hip-hop-related opportunity I could find, whether I thought I was ready or not, and I’d be crazy to say those experiences haven’t aided me into getting to this position. All in all, this festival to me is like a big reminder that if I want something done, the only way to get there is doing it — and know that in the end you’ll get where you need to be. Also, that you can’t take the easy route for something you really want.

CP: What do you hope to gain from being a part of this?
ATR: To be honest, it would be dope if this could be the first festival that I could successfully stage-dive (laughs). Other than that, I do plan to showcase a few new verses that I hope people respond well to.

CP: What are you currently working on that you’re looking forward to?
ATR: For the most part I am working on an EP called Perspectives ,and the marketing associated with its release as well finishing features with various Charleston artists, and attempting to do more visual releases with the much needed help of Stephen Massar.

CP: What do you want fans to take away from your set?
ATR: That we’re all Abstract — we just have to find a way to celebrate it! Also that #Supportislove #Supportislocal

Get your Cultura tickets here.