By Tyler Bunzey
March 12, 2022
Carolina Performing Arts has announced an exciting new hip-hop festival at the Triangle in April. The Hip Hop South Festival features an impressive lineup of hip-hop heavyweights over the course of two days (April 22-23) performing at iconic venues like Cat’s Cradle and historic Memorial Hall.
On Friday night, attendees will be treated to a performance by 2020 BET Songwriter of the Year and North Carolina native, Rapsody. On Saturday, Sa-Roc, a highly respected emcee who has collaborated with the likes of Black Thought and Styles P, will open for Big Boi, one half of iconic multi-platinum selling duo, Outkast. For a nightcap on Saturday, attendees will hear a battle hosted by North Carolina hip-hop production group The Soul Council, led by 9and Wonder. In addition to producing for some of the biggest names in the industry, 9th has taught at Harvard, Duke and Roc Nation’s School of Music, and is also a member of the hip-hop/jazz supergroup, Dinner Party, which released their debut album . in 2020. Additionally, the festival will feature the talented Shirlette Ammons from Durham and hip-hop collectives Carolina Waves and Radio Rehab.
The Hip-Hop South Festival is co-hosted by two critically acclaimed hip-hop educators. Dasan Ahanu is a multi-hyphenated creator and educator who has collaborated with hip-hop festivals like Durham’s Art of Cool Festival and Beats n Bars. Ahanu is joined by Dr. Regina N. Bradley, Associate Professor of English and African Diaspora Studies at Kennesaw State University. Dr. Bradley is one of the foremost authorities on Southern hip-hop and is best known for her podcast, Bottom of the mapand precursor book, Stankonia Chronicle: The Rise of Southern Hip-Hop.
“The Hip Hop South Festival creates space for a deeper exploration and appreciation of the geographic influence of hip hop by focusing on the development and impact of culture across the South,” Ahanu said in the release. Press.
The festival will also highlight the significance of its eminent Southern artists with an exhibition open to the public, curated by Dr. Bradley at CURRENT Artspace on Friday and Saturday evenings. The exhibit, titled Dirty South Scribes, will feature Southern writers whose groundbreaking works helped put the serially underrated Southern hip-hop scene on the map.
Ahead of the weekend, the Hip Hop South Festival will also host a virtual event with Jason Mayden, a former Jordan Brand executive who is now the President of Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear of God Athletics. Mayden will be the featured speaker for a live chat on hip-hop sneaker culture, Kicks & Colorways: A Conversation About Sneaker Culture and Sneaker Design, Wednesday, April 20.
The festival will be a welcome showcase of hip-hop artists and organizations from the region who have continually challenged and redefined the status quo.
The Hip Hop South Festival will take place on April 22 and 23 in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Learn more on the Carolina Performing Arts website.