SoufWessDes performs on The Depot stage. (Doug Hill)

Norman’s hip-hop scene is dormant compared to what’s flourishing in Oklahoma City. That was apparent on the stages hosting the genre’s offerings at the 2018 Norman Music Festival.

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OKC hip-hop veteran Jabee Williams pulled double duty as both performer and master of ceremonies on various stages. The diversity of sounds was in sharp contrast to raunchy SoufWessDes and their no-holds-barred lyrics followed by a more nuanced and less profane Sherman “WoRm” Johnson on the festival’s second evening.

Johnson was influenced by The Cool Kids and exhibits many of their tender sensibilities. His newest album To Go Plate continues where Chicken N Waffles left off but this time he’s laying off the love-interest songs. Johnson performed some of his new compositions at Norman Music Festival.

Although hip-hop is generally infamous for caustic competition, the OKC contingent appeared to be more given to collaboration and sharing stage time with peers. Crowd enthusiasm was unquestionably energetic, attracting large throngs to numerous performances.

Doug Hill earned a double-major undergraduate degree in English and East Asian Studies from the University of Kansas and a master's in human relations from the University of Oklahoma. He's been a freelance journalist and photographer in central Oklahoma since 1997.