The second weekend in October marked the seventh year of the A3C Hip Hop Festival, held this year at Masquerade, in Atlanta. Starting on Thursday, October 6, and ending the night of Saturday, October 8 the festival was consistently alive with musicians, DJs, producers, B-boys, music professionals, and hip-hop fans alike. There is a unique atmosphere that the A3C Festival achieves that is much unlike any other event of this type.
Local recording artist Dreamer was quoted saying, “The thing that stands out to me is the low-key kinship created by the culture of hip-hop.” The combination of kinship and unity within the hip-hop culture seemed to be a collective feeling from those at A3C. After his performance on the iHiphop.com stage, New Orleans artist Dee-1 also commented on A3C, he said, “A3C is dope because to me it’s like SXSW all condensed into one venue. You don’t have to walk and have your feet hurt to try to catch all the good music and people.” There is no doubt that A3C has accomplished a very unique experience which is why the yearly festival draws thousands of attendees each year.
Some of the performance highlights included sets by Big K.R.I.T, Smoke Diza, Killa Kaleon, Dead Prez, Freddie Gibbs, Cory Gunz, Freeway, Big Daddy Kane, Ben G, Dee-1 and many more. Big K.R.I.T who recently was featured on T.I.’s single “I’m Flexin’” is a prime example of the “come-up” many of the artists attending A3C hope to achieve. This Mississippi artist has made some major waves within the last year after being featured on the Freshman list by XXL Magazine and completing his first tour, The Smokers Club. Performer Ben G commented, “The festival was hip-hop in a rare, yet, pure form — it was an honor to be a part of such a respected event with incredible artists.”
Other memorable events included the DJ panel, the video panel, the producer showcase, the B-boy battle, and the Sennheiser panel for professional studio and audio techniques. Attendees were given guidance from those with experience in the industry and advice on what to do and not to do. After the professional studio and audio technique panel, panelist Bradley Horne, an engineer for Grand Hustle, stated, “The crowd was great. They seemed very interested throughout the panel and they had great questions for us. I really appreciated seeing young people that truly care about our craft and want to learn.”
Everyone seems to agree that A3C 2011 was a huge success. The networking amongst those who work hard and are dedicated to their craft appears to be what most enjoy from this festival. It undoubtedly gives those on the grind a chance to be seen, connect with others in the music industry, and learn how to improve upon their skills for the future.
Full gallery of performers, panels and more below: