December 6, 2011

A3C 2011 Recap

The Southeast waits for the A3C Hip Hop Festival every year to bring people together from all over the country in the name of great hip hop music. A3C 2011 continued that legacy of providing a weekend of great music and great people. The festival started off with a bang on Thursday with an Independent Artist Panel for all the talent and fans in town to benefit from and it ended with the trio, Random Axe shutting down the Masquerade with cuts from their self-titled LP. Skyzoo and Illmind were in the UniqueSquared Mobile Studio dropping new tracks while fans outside watched them work in hi-def on 50” monitors mounted to the side of the bus. The first day felt like a family reunion for many of the fans and artists there. Those who have been to the festival in years past may have noticed some changes with the addition of food vendors on sight. It seemed as though almost everyone was walking around munching on one thing or another the entire weekend.

Friday was a big day with some great artists on stage and a lot of people losing themselves in the music from early in the afternoon until late in the evening. There were some fantastic and informative gear demos from Rane and Native Instruments to show off exciting new production and DJ innovations. Also, Torae brought his new album “For The Record” to the Mobile Studio for a packed private listening session. Many highly celebrated indie artists stormed the stage like Freddie Gibbs, Skyzoo, Big K.R.I.T., Laws, & Jean Grae.  Producer 9th Wonder brought his documentary to the Masquerade and followed it up with a Q&A session with the standing-room-only crowd. Atlanta’s own Stay Productive Showcase was one of the highlights of the weekend with accomplished producers playing exclusive material and Ill Mind playing a beat rumored to be on Dr. Dre’s long awaited Detox album.

Saturday was the crown jewel of the festival with new school and true school acts rocking all day. The Mobile Studio showed off its capabilities when it moved seamlessly from inside the festival grounds to the street where the festivities continued. There were a lot of new faces in the crowds on Saturday and the outdoor stages were packed full of fans. The Mobile Studio was busy with Da Beat Minerz until afternoon and The Beatz & Lyrics Show recording music until the wee hours of the night. The Showcase was the best showcase (use a word other than “showcase” again. And a word other than “best” and other more typical language) of the weekend. Radio host Jayforce hosted the affair and Elzhi and M.O.P. headlined the show the fans didn’t want to end. A3C 2011 was as successful as ever and showed that the festival is still growing and becoming one of the most notable independent hip hop events in the country. The depth of talent featured on the bill continues to grow and the performances are talked about long after the festival is over.