Rap artists add their voices
to independent school effort

When Osoyoos Secondary students were bused to Oliver for a look-see of the South Okanagan Secondary School, they were offered a bit of pizza for lunch.

The Osoyoos community did one better Sunday, delivering a free pizza lunch, but throwing in a rap concert as well.

The Mother’s day event, the brainchild of Unity’s Jamie Elder, attracted about 120 OSS students and their parents to see Calgary rap artist Transit. But a surprise visit by B Dolan, a well-known rap artist from the U.S. East Coast, made the event even more spectacular.

“It’s really nice when you’re a young person and you get to bridge the gap with somebody that you look up to and admire,” said Jamie after the event. “It’s rare that you actually get to shake their hand and meet them. I know it affected my life as a kid.”

He had arranged a concert that evening for Jojo’s Cafe and made the most of the opportunity by inviting the two rappers, along with DJ Jonny Williams, to help with the community’s independent school effort.

That ask was well rewarded.

“They were the first people here when I was setting up the room,” said Jamie. “They played a club show last night that ended at two in the morning and they left Kelowna at eight this morning.”

Transit remarked he’d had about three hours sleep the night before, but was happy to support the ndependent school effort.

“I’m really grateful that you guys have allowed me to be part of your community. I absolutely love it here,” he told the audience before rapping a verse he had penned to express his own thoughts on the school closing.

For B Dolan, the call came late in the night.

“I wrote him about one o’clock in the morning as I was trying to get the final stuff done and I just put it out there,” Jamie said of his invite to the Rhode Island-based performer.

“His performing was a true reflection of who he is. He spent the last hour in a room with the door locked reworking verses just making sure he didn’t swear. He definitely put some effort into being a part of the show.

“We made sure he had an early check-in at the hotel so his other option was to be sitting by the pool right now if he wanted to be.”

Although the audience wasn’t as large as expected, Jamie said the intent was fulfilled.

“I knew it would be a tough day for turnout and stuff, it being Mother’s Day. It was kind of just taking advantage of them being in town today. It was a good crowd as far as the heart of the people who were here.”