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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

Hip hop and classical music ready to take the stage together at St. James AMEC Culture Crossing

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Jonathan James, Will Starks
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Konshens The MC and Classically Dope

On Saturday, some unique musical creativity will fill the San Pedro Creek Culture Park near the Alameda Theater.

Konshens The MC, a hip-hop artist, has forged a very different method to convey his message: by combining two musical worlds.

“Merging hip hop and classical music isn't something new. I think that it was something that I may have been a calling for me to try the whole time,” Konshens said.

In school he was trained to play piano, clarinet and drums. Now, he’s assembled a band of seven classical musicians, and he calls them Classically Dope.

“I really, really get excited by introducing people to something that I know ultimately is going to change their concept of thought in a positive way,” Konshens said.

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Jonathan James, Will Starks
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Konshens The MC

From the themes he tackles to his live delivery, that positivity comes through his music.

“I think that that's actually a purposeful mission of mine. Under this umbrella of Classically Dope, I believe that music is one of the most powerful methods of communication,” he said.

One of the life events that inspired him was the birth of his son.

Classically Dope LIVE at The Kennedy Center

“My son Nathaniel has saved my life in so many ways. Having a son gave me a lot of structure,” Konshens said. “And it also put me in a place of understanding that 'no, this life that you're living in right now isn't just for you anymore.' ”'

Konshens the MC will perform in San Antonio this weekend as part of DreamWeek.

“I would ask everybody who's coming to enjoy the show just to come with an open mind. Because ... when people think of classical music, they think about it in the box,” he said. “What people think of hip hop music, they think about it in a box.”

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Will Starks
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Konshens with Classically Dope

He and Classically Dope will play genre-bending music across San Pedro Creek from the Alameda Theater in the preserved footprint of the St. James AME Church.

“The history behind that and that church and the establishment, it's going to be entertaining, but a very spiritual moment, I believe,” he said.

Konshens and Classically Dope will play Saturday and 2 p.m. and the concert is free.

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Arts & Culture News Desk including The Guillermo Nicolas & Jim Foster Art Fund, Patricia Pratchett, and the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii