P. Diddy endorsing a voter drive? Russell Simmons throwing a fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton? Hip-hop and politics have been partners since rap’s beginnings: in the 1970s, Afrika Bambaataa and the Zulu Nation abandoned gangs for rapping and grass-roots organizing; in the 1980s, Chuck D of Public Enemy declared rap “The CNN of the Ghetto”; and today, Simmons’ Hip-Hop Summit Action Network has registered more than 50,000 new voters. With all eyes on the November elections,
The Third Annual Twin Cities Hip-Hop Festival
features proactive citizenship and political engagement for young people through hip-hop culture, education, and celebration. The Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council and Yo! the Movement present The Third Annual Twin Cities Hip-Hop Festival on Saturday, August 21, 12 noon–10 pm, and Sunday, August 22, 12 noon–10 pm, at East River Flats Park, 800 East River Parkway in Minneapolis. This two-day event, featuring more than 60 groups, includes performances by Virginia beat innovators The
, Atlanta soul machine
, New York rap maven
, and the Minnesota Timberwolves’
(Troy Hudson). Both days will be packed with a long list of legendary and upcoming Midwest MCs and Djs, including
, and many more. Special guest and original Rock Steady Crew member
will be dishing out the play-by-play during the $1,000 B-Boy/B-Girl battle.
The Third Annual Twin Cities Hip-Hop Festival also features voter registration, battles, workshops, art activities, and panel discussions with artists from all spectrums of the community. The Festival is copresented by Yo! the Movement, Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council, B96 Radio, Red Bull Energy Drink, The City of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Rift magazine, and The League of Pissed Off Voters. The weekend of August 21 and 22 has been declared Hip-Hop Weekend by the City of Minneapolis and Mayor R.T. Rybak.
Throughout the festival MCs, DJs, breakdancers, and beatboxers will battle it out for cash and prizes. Nationally known MCs will go toe to toe in a battle for cash prizes in Circle of Discipline’s boxing ring.
Other activities include a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, a low rider car show hosted by Los Padrenos, a skate demonstration hosted by Fobia skate shop, boxing matches hosted by Circle of Discipline, a spoken word showcase by the Minnesota Spoken Word Association, a 40-foot-long mural created by graffiti legends
(Designs for Fobia) and
(Chen/AKB crew – 2003 Best of Twin Cities Mural – Merit Printing Wall), and voter registration and election information provided by the League of Pissed Off Voters.
Saturday’s festivities will include a Hip-Hop mini-conference with panel discussions on racism, sexism, and politics featuring local activists, politicians, and artists.
Additional scheduled performers include: MCs: S.O.S., Boney Limburg, Blitz, Prime, Musab, Muja Messiah, Lottery, Big Quarters, Desdamona, Sterotype Click, Purest Form, Pharohs, Carnage, Unknown Prophets, Medida, GOB, Contac, Los Nativos, Pavielle, and Global. DJs: Pear, j.Love, Fu-Manchu, Gabe Garcia, Anton, Aaron Money, Xcaliber, and Chuck/Dale. B-Boys/B-Girls: Bao Phi.
Yo! the Movement
, a nonprofit organization dedicated to youth leadership and development, achieves its mission through several initiatives, including the Metro Youth Council’s (MYC) What’s Up? Youth Info Line. The MYC—metro area youths ages 13-21—presents talent shows, gallery openings, the Twin Cities Celebration of Hip-Hop, and the youth newsletter The Underage Page. The youth-run What’s Up? Youth Info Line provides entertainment information for teenagers and young adolescents.
Tickets for The Third Annual Twin Cities Hip-Hop Festival are $15 for a one-day pass and $25 for a festival pass. Tickets available at all Ticketmaster locations or by calling 651.989.5151.