The BADDAD Collective presented a promising showcase of young rappers and visual artists Friday, March 18, at the Vera Project.

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Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story credited the photo series “Dump Him” to the wrong artist and omitted the credit for Dillon Edwards for the work “Lush.”

At the BADDAD showcase Friday (March 18), backpackers, photographers, artists and musicians gathered at the all-ages Vera Project as part of a hopeful new artistic collective – one that bridges visual art and music.

While only about 50 folks were on hand for the music, the spirit at Vera was rich, diverse and exciting.

“You know what the best thing about art is?” wondered after-school teacher Jamil Suleman, who rapped about college debt, gentrification and cooking curry on the cheap. “That you can just do it.”

Pointing to the group behind him, which included fellow rapper Raven Matthews, Suleman, said, “That’s the new music, right there.”

Suleman even went so far as to compare this new movement with Seattle’s early grunge scene.

BADDAD started eight months ago. According its Facebook page, the name reflects that some of the collective’s members — but not all — have suffered the effects of “bad dads.”

Matthews, who performed his signature eerie electronic hip-hop, was just one of the promising acts to play Friday. Sleep Steady, who recently placed two tracks with EA Sports for its new video game, “UFC 2,” rocked the Vera stage with relentless energy.

Between sets, audience members meandered through the Vera Project’s halls, admiring art hanging on the walls. An eye-catching photo series called “Dump Him,” by Ella Louise Miller, displayed various images of women in repose. Dominic Gracyalny’s and Dillon Edwards’ deep green photograph of a forest had the word “Lush” overlaid in bold white cursive.

“We want to create a symbiotic relationship between the arts and musicians,” said Sam Brakebill, BADDAD’s 22-year-old director, who also works as a cashier in a PCC Natural Market.  “We are producing a platform for artists and musicians to be vulnerable, to have a safe space.”

“Much of the art comes from artists who don’t have anywhere else to show their work,” says Sahkiya Brakebill, Sam’s older sister and collective manager.