Battle-scarred, Midwestern rapper Dana Coppafeel has been an outspoken voice in the region’s underground hip-hop scene since the mid-90s. Few Milwaukee hip-hop artists have a resume as long or impressive as Coppa’s, whose most recent notables include collaborating with Action Bronson & Riff Raff on the successful single Hot Shots Part Deux and opening for Cypress Hill at Summerfest – the World’s Largest Music Festival – with KingHellBastard (KHB). As a former member of award-winning indie groups like the Rusty Ps, Intel Agents and KHB, he’s opened for or performed with artists including Common, Wu-Tang, Q-Tip, Souls of Mischief, Akrobatik, RA The Rugged Man, Eyedea and Abilities, Raashan Ahmad, Count Bass D and All Natural, and made memorable albums that boast sales as far away as Germany and Japan. A self-described bad kid from an even worse city (Rockford, IL), Coppa got his start battle-rapping as a teenager – a legacy you can still hear in his often aggressive, hardscrabble tone and acute freestyle skills. Peppered with lyrical punch lines, his rhymes float like a fever dream from nonsensical and witty to heartfelt and conscientious. Once called a loudmouth by the press, Coppa has never been shy about sharing his opinions or life experiences. Playing the background and pulling punches are not his thing – a disposition that comes through in both the rawness of his music and the energy of his live performances. “Anybody that’s doing music or rapping and saying that they aren’t attention hogs is lying to themselves,” he said in a recent interview (Part I, Part II). “I mean if you don’t want people to look at you, go be a carpenter.” His next project with Uni.Fi Records labelmate, SPEAK Easy, is due out early 2013.