The Best Hip-Hop Songs of 2016 (So Far)
The DJBooth A3C Showcase Awards (Video & Pics)
All photos courtesy of Sheyla Padilla.
First off, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you have to read these lines as if they’ll be as memorable as the actual A3C experience. I can only try to describe my experience as completely as possible in hopes that you’ll finally get the motivation to go purchase that 3-day pass the next time around. After spending my Friday and Saturday immersed in exceptionally refreshing music, I’ll be hard-pressed to not attend in 2011.
However, I’m not going to apologize for saying that DJBooth.net's A3C Showcase was by far one of the best groups of emerging (and emerged) artists that I have ever seen on one stage. Listening to these artists online seems like a distant connection, so when I saw them performing live, it was sometimes difficult to keep that 14-year-old girl fan mode from jumping up. With the likes of STS, The Canz, Thee Tom Hardy, JtheS, Laws, Crooked I, Tabi Bonney, Young Scolla, Jarren Benton, Emilio Rojas, 9th Wonder and Exile (try and reading all of them off in one breath), it was more difficult than usual to prevent myself from running up and asking them to sign my kneecap or piece of gum wrapper. Thankfully for me (and for all of you who didn’t want me to be shameful), I didn’t manage to disgrace the Booth name and kept my composure.
One of the most common questions my friends ask me after this type of event is if the artists are “cool” when I talk to them. I feel that it’s always a successful meet as a fan (and a writer) when after speaking with an artist your expectation of them increases. I can say that after this past weekend, I’m expecting some amazing music coming out of the Booth in the upcoming months. It’s great when you realize that they’re at the venue to do the exact same: have fun and listen to great music. It was more of a community event than a concert, with artists roaming the floors while on their break, speaking with fans and just generally kicking it like ‘the rest of us’ (Sidebar: only difference is the humor in seeing someone like Playboy Tre or STS in the chicken/funnel cake line waiting it out).
Since this is a review of the concert, my friend who also attended Marky Mark (no, not that Marky Mark) and I decided it was necessary to dole out awards for Booth performers, as follows:
(Laws / CyHI)
As a pretty consistent writer for Laws, I became a pretty big fan of the 4:57 mixtape, and his performance on Friday didn’t disappoint. Including Your Future Favorite Rapper, Laws also broke out with Hold You Down, featuring Emilio Rojas (another favorite). Mark was a big fan of G.O.O.D. Music coming into the festival, so he was glad to check out one of the more clever performances of the evening from CyHi.
(tabi Bonney / STS)
I grew increasingly excited for Hardy’s latest mixtape drop next week while I was watching his live set. He did extremely well for his second (yeah, his second) showcase, and managed to keep the momentum going for future ones. Mark had never heard of either tabi Bonney nor STS (I know, poor guy), so after watching them perform, he went straight to the world wide web to find out more tracks to cop from them (no surprise there).
It’s unanimous. If I were to bet on whose name my mother would know in 10 years, it’d be in the hands of Prominent and Foster (the brotherly duo comprising The Canz). We agreed that these two have the stage presence, the talent, and the ability to generate a mutually enjoyable and universal sound that could push them into the spotlight.
Crooked I is dope. And scary. He's scary dope, and the heavyweight L.A. representative's closing set was an absolute demonstration in hip-hop power.
I couldn’t have imagined a more enjoyable way to spend a weekend. It was a great time meeting up with talent from around the country and exposing my ears to an even more diverse array of music. It is definitely worthwhile to look into this festival next time it rolls around. Until next time Booth readers, check you on the web.
(Side Bar: Shout out to DJ Z! Got to finally meet fam in Atlanta. He was a lot shorter than I thought he’d be, but a real cool guy nonetheless.)
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