WHO ARE THEY?
Supa Friends is a hip-hop group founded in Madison, WI, in 2017 by five emcees; Soup The Fifth The Master Plan, Al D, SooDoNiM, Tyrel the Well Treated, Maruchan Chef; and Hardface the Pilot, the group's former in-house producer. Supa Friends were founded with the purpose of creating a unique, diverse, fun brand of Hip Hop that blends the styles and influences of the individual members to form something entirely new and experimental.
The story of Supa Friends began long before the moniker was adopted, with the various members of the group meeting through several Madison-area arts & music programs, where they spent years practicing their craft and honing their skills, together, and as individual artists. It was through these arts programs that the members of the group began collaborating, experimenting, and sharing a lot of their personal influences, laying the foundation for what would become Supa Friends.
Beginning in 2017, the six Madison-based artists took on the task of curating and organizing the Unite Open Mic, a monthly, inclusive outlet aimed at fostering young Hip Hop talent in the Madison area, providing local artists with an opportunity to hone their skills and share new material they were working on with a supportive crowd of Hip Hop fans. It was at this monthly event that Supa Friends began to evolve, developing the stage presence and a fun, vibrant style of Hip Hop that has become their trademark. It was these early days that helped mold the six members into Supa Friends.
THE UNITE OPEN MIC:
In a city where Hip Hop lacks visible presence and is often pushed to the side by a root sense of “fear”, it is very hard to find a stage that welcomes the genre. This statement and a car ride back from Hopkins, Minnesota after three members of Supa Friends performed at an open mic hosted at The Depot Coffee House led to the beginning of what is known as the Unite Open Mic.
The Unite Open Mic served as a multi-genre platform, primarily for aspiring Hip Hop creatives to come and share their work. Starting on the east side of Madison at the Goodman Community Center (Lussier Loft) in December of 2017, The music driven event quickly drew the attention of youth in the general Madison area and became a place for artists to engage in not only music, but with their community through networking. To break it down, artists had a place to shine, friends, family and fans had a place to show support, and anyone in attendance had a free opportunity to connect.
In 2019, Supa Friends received an offer from WWMV-LP 95.5FM and the Lussier Community Education Center to expand The Unite Open Mic’s reach from the east side to the west side. Without a doubt in their mind they accepted this offer, creating yet another home for Hip Hop in Madison, WI.
To operate on both sides of the city, Supa Friends ran The Unite Open Mic on the first and last Friday of the month, switching between the two community centers. After a while, we reach now; a time where The Unite Open Mic is inactive due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. With hopes to return with more energy than ever, Supa Friends’ aim is to (once safe) bring back local performance opportunities for artists.
SUPA ARTICLE ARCHIVE
Madison Music Experience
Scott Gordon, Tone Madison
Scott Gordon, Tone Madison
Steven Potter, Cap Times
David Maravilla, WSUM 91.7 FM