So this past weekend was the A3C FESTIVAL. I actually was on a panel for Women in Hip Hop on Saturday, and performed.
For those of you who have been asking about new material, I'll be posting the track at some point this week. I got a lot of love & support after I got off stage-- like, A LOT. It's exciting, really. I think people are hungry for alternatives. Which is why I'm only to happy to bring them The Other Side of the Game.
Anyways, the festival was pretty dope. No pretension (minus the chick outside the door on Friday night who insisted on hoarding "the list"). No sunglasses indoors. No flaming jolly rancher colored hoodies. It was refreshing-- except one thing. There were also no women performing. Unless you want to count the masked strippers who got on stage during the i-standard production event. Note to wack ass producers: having strippers grind the air to your beats doesn't make them sound any less shitty. Ironically, they did that right after the Women's panel-- further illustrating that no one pays attention to what we have to say anyway. Yeah.
As I mentioned, I did 2 songs at the Women in Hip Hop Panel, along with another rapper, Rogue, and Roxanne Shaunte performed on Friday night with Juice Crew. She did about 4 songs. And that, ladies and gents, was it. Oh well, maybe next year.
Anywhoo. Here is a rundown of some of the folk I really enjoyed:
Of course, Tay & Pooh always put on a great show. This is the first time I've been able to catch them since Get Back dropped though- and I was only to happy to shout out every word to "Sirens"-- which they wisely opened with. I don't give a damn what anyone says-- No diss to Uncle 9th, but I'm so glad they expanded beyond his sound.
The good thing about LB is that they seem to have a pretty good handle on what their fans like-- and always end up doing everyone's "secret" favorite song. You know, the track that you really like that you don't think anyone else is up on? So when someone says "I really like "Good Clothes" you can wave them off with a superior comment like, "Yeah, that's cool, but (Insert Song) really defines who LB is." My (insert song) is "Ain't Nobody Like Me." Dude, every time that song comes on I'm forced to shout out, "I was blessed with the talent to rhyme muthaf-ckas I'ma die wit it!!!" Got amped just typing that. Anyways, I hollered at them backstage for a sec when they went off and Tay was totally hoarse. That's how you know your favorite rapper was acting a damn fool on stage. Good stuff.
Jeru the Damaja. Now, I ain't gonna lie. I don't know this cat's catalog like that. But I was impressed cuz he's funny as hell. He spent a good portion of his allotted time cracking jokes with the crowd. And dude sees everything. He managed to flirt with three chicks who were sitting in seats, off the main floor---insisting he would meet them after the show. I think he was joking. Maybe. Then, he gave a free CD to one fan who he spotted mouthing all the words to his songs-- apparently adoration impresses the Damaja. And, he jokingly chastised two chicks who were standing right behind me. I gues they were supposed to be outside selling his new CD, not in front of the stage, jamming. All in all, he's a great example of veteran emcee who knows how to rock/entertain a crowd.
Clan Destined. I've seen these guys one other time at tiny ass El Bar. So, yeah, I'm not gonna count that. They just grabbed the mic by the DJ booth and rapped along for the 12 or so people that were crammed into the place. This time they had a lot more room to move around and they needed the space because they were taking turns running back and forth to the turntables while the other rapped. Yeah, multi-talented, these guys are. Buy their music--it jams.
Blu. Again, wasn't too hip to this cat before the show, honestly. Of course, I've heard stuff her eand there, but yeah. He's dope as hell. A little tired looking, but in that cool self-deprecating kind of way...So I guess it was on purpose. Anyways, between him and Pigeon John, I definitely gotta get back on my Cali shit. He didn't do a great deal of jumping around and head bobbing (I don't know if he actually has rhythm), but he rapped his ass off. (Side note: B.O.B. was actually doing jumping jacks on stage...I'm tellin' ya, watch for this little dude.) Back to Blu, he even managed to sell some CDs while he was rapping. Like counting back money and everything. I've never seen that before, made for some fine entertainment. After he went off, the Juice Crew went on and he ended up standing directly behind me for a lot of their show. I gave dude props and he looked very surprised. Don't know what that was about-- I guess maybe that "women don't like me" vibe he's on is true to life? I dunno.
Akrobatik. Man, this dude's new shit is jamming. The production sounds very west coast tinged, which is right up my alley. Anyways, he put on a good show-- basically he just rapped, and did so very well. He has great vocal control, as my boy Encyclopeezia Brown pointed out, you could understand every single word dude uttered. And he was sayin' some shit.
Guilty Simpson. I didn't enjoy his show as much as I did the break dancers who had formed a huge circle in front of the stage while he was performing. Actually, he oughtta be glad his music is dope, cuz I would've been bored stiff otherwise. I think he may have taken like 4 steps the entire time he was on stage-- which was for at least 30-35 minutes. He also had the most Dilla shout outs of the festival I think-- prolly cuz he was the only Detroit native (to my knowledge).
Anyways, he's nice.
Killer Mike & Bonecrusher. Kinda sad when one of the dopest points in show starring the legendary Juice Crew is when two rappers who had nothing to do with the crew or rap in the eighties take the stage. Juice Crew wasn't terrible-- but there was no Big Daddy Kane (Biz mumbled something about him having high blood pressure)...which was a significant blow. I've seen Kane one time before (on my birthday no less) and let's just say, there's a reason why these newbies need to study the old school. Anyways, Biz did his thing and so did Shaunte. The rest? Eh. Like I said, I was happy as hell when Mike and Crusher came out on stage and did "Neva Scared." Damn near pulled a ligament and tore a vocal chord yelling "Bang, Bang, Bang!" Of course, they did the mandatory "Free Tip!" chant at the end. Tip was at home writing his speech for Easter Sunday-- which was circulated first thing on Monday morning as an *Exlusive T.I.!* email. Really? Come on, ya'll.
Now, I missed the Clipse, because shortly after 1 a.m. on Saturday, I took my sleepy self home. I know, I know. But I hear they were dope, as expected. Anyways, here's hoping this festival gets some estrogen and keeps getting bigger and better, as it has for the past 4 years.