Last weekend the people of Atlanta, GA were lucky enough to witness the A3C Hip Hop festival. Spanning 3 days and featuring 200 artists all performing in some shape or form across the Masquerade’s 15 stages, this was a festival destined to make Rock the Bells look like a shoddy subway/street performance in comparison.
To reel off all the big names that performed would take pixels that your eyes just don’t want to see, but with the likes of Artifacts, J-Live, Cunninlinguists, Jean Grae and Murs all performing, how could this not be 3 days to remember? In fact, note particularly how I only reached an artist who’s name begins with ‘M’, that list was so long it was hurting my wrist to scroll any further!
Panel discussions, producer showcases, workshops and live shows were all on offer for Hip Hop fans.
Read more after the jump to see how this one panned out.
The event kicked off on Thursday evening at 6pm and with schedules conflicting so much, fans that arrived in hope of catching the 9th Wonder interview and the likes of SunNy performing on another stage, may have been somewhat annoyed. However such is the nature of an event like this. With so many dope acts on different stages, popular performances were bound to conflict.
Following the interview with 9th Wonder (above) the Red Bull Music Academy stage played host to ‘An Evening with 9th Wonder’. These few hours worth of 9th laced beats included a mouth-watering line up that featured; Skyzoo, Buckshot, Jean Grae, MURS and more.
It seems the good people at A3c saw it as their mission to address all aspects of Hip Hop culture. Therefore 7pm on the opening night at the Jackprints stage was dedicated to Women in Hip Hop featuring dope performances from Rita J, Lyrics Jones and the rest of the beautiful ladies. Another woman in action was Boog Brown on the Unique Squared Pro Audio Stage, check out her latest album ‘Brown Study’ produced by Apollo Brown on Itunes. Following those performances, at 8:30pm the ‘Detroit-ish’ set was ready to do Dilla proud and represent the best of the D. Fans of One Be Lo (Binary Star) will have been happy to see the exclusive emcee come out of hiding and lay down a solid performance.
Friday was very much a day for the producers and DJs as these guys took centre stage with events that included; 101: Building the Beat, a set by DJ Exile, a panel discussion: Crafting in the Lab, iStandard Producer Showcase as well as various solo DJ performances dotted all over the place.
On-the-rise emcee Stalley (above), I have been informed, pulled out one of the nicest perfomances of Friday night, a night that also featured Spectac and Amiri, Crooked I, Evidence and the J.U.S.T.I.C.E League. Friday was somewhat of a hectic night with ‘IdOMusic® Mixer’ hosting a network event. Therefore many of the interviews and videos you may have seen dotted about the web, most likely came from this mosh pit of blogger/fan/journalist/artist/panelist activity.
The Red Bull Music Academy Stage was due to open at 2pm on Saturday for the ‘1-on-1 B-boy & B-girl Battle.’ However a late start ultimately affected the quality and flow of each rushed act which put a little dampner on the battle as whole.
Though after that slight hiccup with the Breakdance battle, Saturday really did go off with a bang, holding something for everyone. The Unique Squared Pro Audio Stage held a workshop for aspiring hip-hop artists and producers, while those looking for insider knowledge on the Hip Hop industry were treated to a panel discussion about Licensing and Publishing on the Perfect attendance Stage. Following, was a panel set-up to discuss and answer questions on Hip Hop Journalism. For the benefit of Bloggers and Journalists who run through this site on a daily basis, video footage of the panel is below (courtesy of Lex Boogie and http://www.thegrittycommittee.com). Props is due to; Maurice Garland (Moderator), Rodney Carmichae (Creative Loafing), John Gotty (Smoking Section) Danielle Harling (Hip Hop DX) (Honeymag.com), Kelby Cannick (Makin It Mag), David D (Smoking Section), Krish De Leon for sharing tips and info for all those trying to get in to this game.
Performers on Friday night included Rhymefest, who performed some of his more politically charged songs, the very underrated Sha Stimuli performing ‘Unsung’ (not one of his best songs, but check him out), J-Live was over at the Jagermeister Stage whilst the evening saw the familiar words ‘C’mon and get down with that Artifact sound’ bless the Jakprints stage, in that uniquely streaming flow of El Da Sensai. Check that Artifacts performance below. (Video courtesy of Vinny Kumar)
The great thing about this particular festival is it’s ability to bring together great Hip Hop acts past and present. Last year it was the Juice Crew, this year Artifacts brought that old skool (said for the benefit of those that class the 90’s as old skool) funk. Mix that in with some tried and trusted underground greats such as J-Live and One Be Lo, sprinkle some fresh blood in the air (too many to name), and what you get is a whole lotta dope. Events like this also seem to be somewhat of an eye-opener. Wale and B.O.B were big acts in 2008 and 2009 respectively, both the guys blew up, and they’re no where to be seen this year. That could be purely down to coincidence, but the idea that those two artists and others like them feel they have outgrown the show can’t be disregarded. If anything it should shed even greater light on just why we should hail 9th Wonder, Artifacts, Jean Grae and other ‘big’ names, for performing at A3C.
Due to the sheer scale of this 3 day Hip Hop marathon, information, news, pictures and video is still being gathered and uploaded at all times. What we have here is only a snapshot of the bigger picture that was painted last weekend. Below is a few links you can hit up over the next few weeks in order to get all the latest from the festival.
Great Images from various sets on Dominick Brady’s FLICKR
An official schedule listing all performers HERE
The official A3C home page, featuring blog spots with images and interviews from across the blogospher HERE
The official mixtape part 1 and 2 from the 3 day festival HERE