Articles

A3C – All Three Coasts

In Tamás' Posts on October 9, 2011 by Tamás

Sina and I went to day 3 of the A3C Hip Hop Festival last night, which took place at the beautiful Masquerade here in Atlanta. The Masquerade is an old brick mill with wooden floors, stairs and ceilings, and a very special charm. It’s also pretty big. The festival spread across three big stages indoors and an outdoor area with one large and one small stage as well as numerous merch stands & food trucks. There was a festival feeling to this indeed.

The concept of All 3 Coasts is to connect the American Hip Hop scene, those who already made it and those who are young and hungry, and to have them share a stage. There were also panel discussions and hardware/software demos during the day. It would have been interesting to see more of it, maybe even all three days, but we have so many things on our hands that we were happy we could make it Saturday night.

I left my cameras at home, fearing that there would be a no pictures policy and that my camera might cause a hassle at the entrance. Boy, was I wrong. I believe every second of every performance is sitting on somebody’s iPad (yes, people were filming with them), iPhone or prosumer DSLR memory. So, while I regret missing an opportunity for nice pictures, there will be no shortage of footage documenting the event.

We arrived just in time for the semi-finals and finals of the B-boy battle. Here’s an impression of how that felt, although Deuces Wild weren’t in the competition anymore by the time we got there.

After some further explorations, we settled for the Jägermeister Stage ;) where no other than the inventor of Scratching, Grand Wizard Theodore himself, was the head of a jury overseeing a DJ battle. Halfway into the battle, 2009 DMC World Champ DJ Shiftee played a nice showcase, although the crowd was a tough one, and not everybody liked his excursions into Drum ‘n’ Bass & Dubstep. Some of the DJs battling had great skills indeed, but they were put to shame by the Grand Wizzard, who played a set of his own after the competition. At one point he was blind-folded and balancing a record on his head while doing needle skips. He’s undoubtedly still got it.

After that we saw M.O.P. and Dead Prez rock the big audience that had gathered before the open air stage. Two very different acts, showcasing the diversity of the event. M.O.P. came to party, and Dead Prez came to educate and empower, Black Panther shirt included. Needless to say, it was a great experience to stand in an American crowd, largely male African American, who could sing along and interacted with the artists. “Ante Up” and “Hip Hop” were the closing tracks, of course, and things were on fire. The mood got a little aggrevated when the soundman cut off the mic during a political skit of Dead Prez. It was six past eleven, and apparently the organizers were nervous as the open air part had to end by eleven, probably because the Masquerade is close to a residential area.

The grand finale took place indoors, as Big Daddy Kane took the stage. Here are the final minutes of his performance, make sure you watch the whole clip. The crowd went crazy, great vibes all around.

All in all, it was a great evening. Memorable moments included shout outs to Guru and Troy Davis. One notable gap was the absence of Hip Hop’s fourth element, graffiti.

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