Rapper Speech performs in Macon

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Erica O'Neal / Cluster Staff
Erica O’Neal / Cluster Staff

“I do think that it’s important for people to remember just how culturally rich Macon has been in the past in music and it’ll be interesting to see, now that events like this are happening, where they can go,” HeaveN Beatbox is a 24-year-old beatboxer from Atlanta who got started as a sophomore in high school. Beatbox was here as a part of the second fall installment of Music Ambassadors: Macon. Speech, of the band Arrested Development, headlined the show with HeaveN Beatbox opening. The house concert began at 6:00 p.m. on Oct. 28 with art from local artist, Heatherly Wakefield.

The series Wakefield created is called Orientation Not Important and was made from a combination of charcoal, pastels and water. “The orientation of the pieces isn’t really important, it depends on the viewer. If someone buys it and they want to turn it upside down, they can do that. It’s however they best relate to it,” said Wakefield.

About 100 people attended the house concert and watched HeaveN Beatbox get the music started. HeaveN Beatbox is a 24-year-old beatboxer from Atlanta who got started as a sophomore in high school. “I’m glad that I’m here because it’s been such an experience,” Beatbox had the opportunity to perform with Speech because they share the same manager.

Before coming to Music Ambassadors, Beatbox didn’t know how much music history Macon had. The private tours of downtown given to Speech and HeaveN Beatbox, told the story of Macon’s vibrant background in music.

Speech first heard about Music Ambassadors: Macon through Tim Regan-Porter, the director of the Center for Collaborative Journalism.

“So when they first told me about this, it was cool and very interesting and very unique. I don’t think I’ve ever performed in a house before, and I thought that was a really cool twist,” said Speech. During the day before the house concert, Speech got to see some famous landmarks in Macon such as Capricorn Records, where The Allman Brothers used to record, venues where musicians like Otis Redding and Little Richard performed, and stopped by the Otis Redding Foundation where Speech met Otis Redding’s daughter, Karla Redding.

Speech began his performance with HeaveN Beatbox giving a beat, before delving in to familiar songs such as “Tennessee.” Speech would also tell the story behind this song, stating he wrote it when his grandmother passed away and then shortly after his brother did as well.

During the house concert, Speech emphasized the importance of remembering the past.

“I’m a big believer in keeping these things, even the parts that are shameful. Even the parts about segregation, I think that’s so important for us to understand as Americans, where we come from, so that we don’t repeat it,” said Speech.

From his experiences through Music Ambassadors, Speech encourages people to visit Macon and learn about the city’s rich history.

Future concerts will be announced through the Music Ambassadors Facebook page and press releases from Tim Regan-Porter.