Fresh Out The Box With Chicago's Best MC's at @The MusicRoomATL @A3C @WeaselSims @IAmChiCity @pdibiase @SaintMillie773

066 Old Fourth Ward067 Edgewood Avenue068 The Department Store069 Edgewood and Boulevard070 Edgewood and Boulevard071 Edgewood and Boulevard072 The Sound Table073 Str8 Drop Records074 A3C075 Edgewood Avenue076 Tops Boutique077 GrandMassive at Tops Boutique078 Tops Boutique079 Edgewood Avenue080 The Music Room081 Old School Block Party083 The Music Room084 Chi City085 Chi City086 Chi City087 Chi City088 Chi City089 Chi City090 Chi City845 Department Store091 Saint Millie092 Saint Millie093 Saint Millie094 Saint Millie095 Saint Millie096 Weasel Sims & RAN Nation846 Tops Boutique097 Weasel Sims & RAN Nation098 Weasel Sims & RAN Nation099 Weasel Sims & RAN Nation100 Weasel Sims & RAN Nation101 Weasel Sims & RAN Nation102 Weasel Sims & RAN Nation103 Weasel Sims & RAN Nation104 Weasel Sims & RAN Nation105 Weasel Sims & RAN Nation106 Weasel Sims & RAN Nation107 P. Dibiase108 P. Dibiase109 P. Dibiase110 P. Dibiase111 P. Dibiase112 P. Dibiase113 P. Dibiase114 P. Dibiase847 Chi City
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.

A3C Brunch & Negotiating The New Music Industry Panel @A3C @GSBMusic1 @SelectOHits @FORTKNOXLIVE @irgpublicity @BigTah

001 A3C Brunch002 Midtown Atlanta003 DJ Tephlon004 Fort Knox006 Fort Knox & DJ Tephlon008 Downtown Atlanta009 A3C011 Beatminerz Radio012 A3C Brunch013 Reebok at A3C800 A3C Brunch801 A3C Brunch014 A3C802 Fort Knox & DJ Tephlon803 Downtown Atlanta806 A3C Brunch807 Negotiating The New Music Industry Panel016 Negotiating the Music Music Industry Panel018 A3C808 Wyte Swag
I had heard that the second day of A3C would be kicked off with a VIP Brunch which would be open to panelists, so I texted my homeboy Fort Knox about it, and headed down to the Crowne Plaza Hotel, where the event was being held. The brunch was on the 25th floor, but proved to be not so much a brunch, but just a table of fruit, danishes, bagels, coffee and juice. However, the view from there was beautiful, and DJ Tephlon was spinning on the north side of the room. On the south side were some exhibits, including a display of new Reebok shoes, and a Microsoft gaming exhibit, and Beatminerz Radio was providing the music on that side.
Since there was very little actual food at the brunch, my fellow panelist Travis McFetridge from Great South Bay Music and I headed out north to Buttermilk Kitchen for a very late brunch that was really good, and then back to the hotel for our “Negotiating the New Music Industry” panel, featuring him, Fort Knox, Big Tah, Latisha “Ms. NuNu” Manigault, attorney Andrew Krems and myself. The panel, which was intended to give artists strategies for coping with lost revenue from the decline in music sales was literally so crowded that nobody else could enter the room. Several people told me that they considered it a success, so I was pleased with the outcome.

Opening Day of @A3C Hip-Hop Festival in Atlanta

001 A3C002 A3C003 A3C004 A3C781 A3C005 Nate006 Nate007 Torch008 Torch009 Torch010 Torch011 Torch012 Torch013 Erosol014 Voice of the People015 Torch016 Boulevard Street017 The Sound Table018 A3C019 Space 2787 Nate788 Torch791 Voice of the People020 The Music Room021 The Music Room022 A3C023 A3C024 A3C025 A3C026 Money Makin Nique027 Money Makin Nique028 Money Makin Nique029 Money Makin Nique030 Money Makin Nique031 Money Makin Nique032 Money Makin Nique033 Money Makin Nique034 Money Makin Nique035 Money Makin Nique036 Money Makin Nique037 Money Makin Nique038 Money Makin Nique039 A3C040 The Music Room042 The Music Room792 A3C795 Money Makin Nique043 Yac-Yan Da Biznessman044 Yac-Yan Da Biznessman045 Club Enclave046 Club Enclave047 Club Enclave048 Cash Out049 Cash Out798 The Music Room050 Cash Out051 Cash Out052 The Quad799 Cash Out053 Fort Knox054 A3C790 Voice of the People
When I got to Atlanta, I went immediately to the Crowne Plaza Hotel, which last year had been the Melia Hotel, and registered for the A3C conference. Although it was only the first day of the event, the hotel was already crowded with rap artists, industry people and fans. After getting checked in at my hotel, and eating dinner, I headed down to the Edgewood Avenue area to attend showcases, ending up first at the upstairs stage of a building called Erosol or the Department Store, where an artist named Nate was on stage. He was soon followed by a Maybach Music Group artist named Torch, but the venue was extremely crowded, so I walked down Edgewood to the Music Room, where the Atlanta rapper Money Makin Nique was on stage. I had heard him first several years ago, but I was extremely impressed with the new material he performed this year, and spent some time talking with his manager on the sidewalk outside. But my homeboy Fort Knox was emceeing an event at Enclave, a club on Spring Street not far from the conference hotel, so I got the car and drove back over to the hotel, but ended up going into the Quad instead of the Enclave, and saw the rapper Cash Out on stage with his entourage. I realized that Fort Knox wasn’t hosting that event, and decided to go around the corner and into Enclave, but by then, the latter venue was closing and wouldn’t let me in. I got a brief chance to speak with Knox before he headed out, and I rode back to my hotel as well.

A Birthday Celebration for @PaperFrank at @GRAVEYARD_EAV and Hip-Hop with @FORTKNOXLIVE at @BASEMENT_EAV


My homeboy Fort Knox had told me about a hip-hop show taking place in East Atlanta Village at The Basement, and Money Makin Nique’s manager KD had mentioned a birthday party for the visual artist Paper Frank being held at The Graveyard, and as it turned out, as if by design, one event was downstairs from the other, so I went to both. The DJ-based party for Paper Frank filled up very quickly in The Graveyard Tavern, so much so that it was hard to even walk around, although I did catch up with KD, who introduced me to Money Makin Nique, who is making a fair amount of noise around Atlanta for his single “Funny Guy”, which got played while I was there. Downstairs in The Basement, my homeboy Fort Knox was hosting a hip-hop concert, featuring a number of local Atlanta area MC’s.

A Last Atlanta Breakfast with @FORTKNOXLIVE at @ADiosCafe @NoMasHacienda #A3C2013


Even the best things end eventually, and Monday morning was my last morning in Atlanta before going back to Memphis. A3C was over for the year, but I called my homeboy Fort Knox and invited him to breakfast at a place called ADios Cafe, which I had seen during Flux Night. The cafe is affiliated with the No Mas Hacienda and Cantina, which is a Mexican housewares store and restaurant in the Castleberry Hill neighborhood, so the cafe, which sells coffees, desserts and breakfasts has a pronounced Mexican theme. Nevertheless, they do sell traditional American style breakfast items as well, but the interesting things are the dishes with a slight Mexican twist, such as blue corn pancakes. The coffee is imported from Mexico, very delicious, and available to take home ground or in whole bean pound bags. It was too early to try desserts, but they looked absolutely incredible, and the ADios Cafe also features fine chocolates under the brand Chocolate of the Gods. The cafe is open every day from 8 AM-10 PM.

ADios Cafe
180 Walker St. SW
Atlanta, GA 30313
404-574-5678
http://adioscafe.com/

Two Sunday @A3C Block Parties in the Old Fourth Ward @BeerAndTacOs #A3C2013


Starting at 3 PM, there were two large block parties taking place along Edgewood Avenue as part of A3C, and these drew some of the largest crowds of the week since they were free and did not require wristbands. The one on the large Old Fourth Ward stage was hosted by Questlove of The Roots and featured DJ’s playing nothing but classic old-school hip-hop all afternoon. The other block party was behind Noni’s Deli and was sponsored by an Atlanta event collective known as Beer and Tacos. This event was hosted by my good friend Fort Knox, and featured a line-up of hip-hop performers on the outdoor stage. As the afternoon wore on, however, clouds began to gather in the west, and the day soon grew overcast. At about 5 PM, I made the decision to drive down to Six Feet Under (a seafood restaurant) for dinner, and I made the right decision just in the nick of time, because the storms and heavy rains broke while I was eating dinner on the outdoor roof. From there I headed to the Sun Dial bar on the 72nd floor of the Westin Atlanta for coffee and dessert, although the view of the city was obscured by so many storms. Seeing lightning directly outside the windows was interesting though!

Bun B (@BunBTrillOG) Live at The Earl @EARL_EAV @A3c #A3C2013


I wanted to make sure that I got the opportunity to see Bun B perform live at the Earl in East Atlanta Village, because although I had met Pimp C years ago in Port Arthur, I had never gotten an opportunity to see UGK perform live. In the event, the venue was packed to overflowing, and I really didn’t think I would get to see much. Fortunately, I was able to work my way up to the front near the stage, and was surprised to see that my homeboy Fort Knox was the master of ceremonies for that showcase. Bun’s performance touched on most of the most popular UGK songs, often with the audience reciting the late Pimp C’s verses. It was a great experience.

Starting my @A3C Week at Buckhead’s Buttermilk Kitchen @ButtermilkKitch


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. At least that’s what our parents said, and many health experts seem to agree. Certainly it’s the most enjoyable, and that’s even much more the case when you find a brunch restaurant as good as North Atlanta’s Buttermilk Kitchen. The Buttermilk Kitchen is a breakfast and lunch concept from Chef Suzanne Vizethann, who is well-known in Atlanta food circles, and who won a contest on the Food Network. It’s not hard to tell why, because the Buttermilk Kitchen is a restaurant of perfection, from the food, to the furnishings, to the bright, sunny feel of the place. Even the most basic menu choices, like bacon, eggs and a biscuit, are clearly prepared with love and attention to detail, and the freshly brewed coffee is truly amazing. My friend Fort Knox met me there, and was also pleased. Normally, Buttermilk Kitchen is not open at night, although they do occasionally open at night for special events, including “fried chicken nights.” I’ve also been told that their lunch burgers are amazing. They are closed on Mondays, open on Tuesday through Saturday from 8 AM to 2 PM, and stay open an hour later on Sundays.

Buttermilk Kitchen
4225 Roswell Rd
Atlanta, GA 30342
678.732.3274
http://buttermilkkitchen.com/

Austin’s Very Own League of Extraordinary G’z (@LOEGz) Live at @JavelinaBar @SXSW 2013 @FortKnoxLive

I was expecting to see my friends in the League of Extraordinary G’z when I got to the Javelina, but I wasn’t expecting to run into my homeboy Fort Knox from Atlanta, who was actually in Austin to MC several different showcases, including this one. The League is arguably Austin’s best rap group, if it can be actually called a rap group and not a collective, for there are actually smaller rap groups within LOEGz. Their performance at the smaller Javelina venue was without their live drummer, but it was still dynamic, opening with their anthemic “On Your Neck, Ass and Elbows”, always done in honor of Esbe, the 6th Street Bully, a League member who passed away of an undiagnosed medical condition in 2011. National recognition for the League of Extraordinary G’z is long overdue. Their performance at Javelina was followed by none other than Bushwick Bill of the Geto Boys.