I have left the event that my homeboy Fort Knox was hosting before it was over, because I had hoped to catch Juvenile’s performance on the A3C Main Stage on Edgewood Avenue, so I was surprised and disgusted to find that the stage had already shut down when I got there. So I made my way down Edgewood Avenue, checking out some of the venues where A3C showcases were going on, but most of them had horrendous lines waiting to get inside. I briefly peeked inside a hip-hop clothing boutique and mixtape shop called Tops Boutique, where a DJ was mixing in the shop, and then continued down the street. I ended up at The Music Room, where a showcase called Fresh Out The Box was taking place, which consisted strictly of Chicago artists. Few of the artists I saw were familiar to me (the exception was P. Dibiase), but I was impressed with Chi City and Saint Millie, and especially with Weasel Sims and the RAN Nation, a hard-core street rap group that would not be at all out of place in Memphis. Altogether, the showcase was a great introduction to the Windy City’s rap scene, and the artists chosen represented the highly diverse style of rap found in Chicago.
Like CBone, the artist that proceeded him on The Real A-Town Experience line-up, Witchdoctor is a member of the Dungeon Family collective, and an artist with a large Atlanta following. He has released six albums since 1997, as well as a book of poetry. A seventh album is in the works.
Atlanta rap artist BlackOwned CBone is a member of the Dungeon Family, and of a hip-hop trio called Konkrete. Although he is not particularly well-known outside of Atlanta yet, he is much loved within the city, and the crowd at The Real A-Town showcase on the Friday night of A3C went wild when he came on stage.
Keep up with BlackOwned CBone:
Atlanta rapper Renegade El Rey is originally from Memphis, Tennessee, and was the first artist to perform at The Real A-Town concert at the Loft in Midtown Atlanta on Friday, October 10th. Although relatively young in the music industry, Rey has collaborated with a number of better-known rappers and producers, such as Fiend, and is starting to make a name for himself.
Keep up with Renegade El Rey:
Although there were a lot of A3C showcases on Friday night, my homeboy Fort Knox was hosting an event at The Loft at Center Stage Atlanta that wasn’t an official showcase of the festival, but probably should have been. Entitled “The Real A-Town”, the concert featured appearances from a number of Atlanta rap artists, famous and unknown, including Renegade El Rey, Lil Will, BlackOwned CBone and Witchdoctor from the Dungeon Family. The event was fairly well-attended, and the performances were first-rate throughout. Unfortunately, I had heard that Juvenile was performing at the A3C main stage in the Old Fourth Ward, so I left the A-Town concert early to head over to Edgewood Avenue.
The days at A3C Hip-Hop Festival are primarily centered around the conference hotel. There are exhibits and panels on the second floor, and a VIP lounge with a DJ and snacks and drinks on the 25th floor, with a beautiful panoramic view of the city. There was also this year a Microsoft gaming center for attendees to try out various new video games, and a Reebok shoe exhibit. But in many ways, the most valuable activity at A3C occurs in the lobby and in front of the hotel, as attendees meet each other and network.
One of the more important Thursday night showcases at A3C was called Double Cupped Fears, an event held at Space 2 on Edgewood Avenue and sponsored by TRDON, the record label/production company that works with Memphis rapper Preauxx, Select-O-Hits, and Travis McFetridge’s Great South Bay Music. The rather diverse line-up included hip-hop lyricists like J. Sands and Planet Asia, relatively new lyrical Memphians like Tori WhoDat and Preauxx, and classic Memphis headliners like Lil Wyte, Frayser Boy and Miscellaneous. Unfortunately, the showcase got under way about thirty minutes late, and as a result, was cut short at 2:30 AM, when the venue said they were required to close due to a city ordinance. But Lil Wyte and company left the crowd hyped and eager for more.
Memphis artist Snootie Wild made a huge showing at this year’s A3C festival in Atlanta, and was the highlight of the BMI Showcase held at The Earl in East Atlanta Village, 10/09/14
Snootie Wild first came to my attention a couple of years ago at a record pool meeting in Memphis, as an amazing rapper from North Memphis with the unusual ability to command a Jamaican accent at will. This might not be unusual in a lot of cities, but there is almost no Caribbean presence in Memphis whatsoever, and Snootie has no island background When he released the single “Yayo” a few months later, he became the biggest artist in Memphis. Not long thereafter, he signed with Yo Gotti’s Cocaine Music Group, which has since been renamed Collective Music Group, and began to tour the country with Gotti. More recently, he has followed up the success of the earlier single with a new single called “No Kissing”, which blew up the streets of Memphis and other Southern cities all summer. So his appearances at A3C garnered a lot of attention, and his appearance at the BMI Showcase in East Atlanta Village was especially good. Despite his youth, Snootie Wild seems calm and in complete control, enjoying himself and bantering with crowd as if they were old and trusted friends. The young Memphian has great things ahead of him.
Keep up with Snootie Wild:
Virginia-based hip-hop artist Willie Waze performs at The Union in East Atlanta Village during the ManifestationATL showcase at the A3C festival.