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Halifax hip hop icons ready to take the stage at Jazz Fest


Famed rapper Killer Mike is the headliner for one night of the Jazz Festival in Halifax this summer, but he might have his work cut out for him when it comes to matching the energy of his opening act.

Legendary Halifax hip hop group Universal Soul will warm up the crowd on July 9 and they’re planning to deliver one of their signature high-energy performances.

“Those that know us, you already know where we’re going,” Tracey Williams, also known as Tacktishion, told CTV News Atlantic’s Katie Kelly on Tuesday. “We’re coming to burn it down.

“It’s like breathing, it’s heaven. That’s where we belong. We are at home on stage.”

“It’s just a special love for hip hop and love for entertainment and that’s what makes us, us,” said Brian Pelrine, also known as DJ IV. “We love to go up there and give it our all.”

The award-winning group formed three decades ago and while they’ve been off and on over the years, right now they say they’re back and stronger than ever.

“We form like Voltron,” said Finley Tolliver, also known as F.I.Z. “We are a unit and it’s happening and it takes a moment like this to sort of get that surge of energy again.

“We are back in the studio, we’re recording, we’re getting some stuff together and getting it down.”

The group says it focuses on family-friendly, positive messages and clean lyrics.

“It was plain to us that people who curse don’t actually have the words to speak what’s really on your mind,” Williams said. “So that’s one of the reasons why we don’t, you know, curse on our music. We’re serious about it.”

Universal Soul’s show is scheduled to start at the TD Main Stage at 8:15 p.m. on July 9.

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