Held at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on February 21st, 2009, Hip Hop 101 Music & Arts Festival was collaboratively created by Investor/Event Presenter Derek Patterson (Champ Funds, Inc.), Executive Producer Ken Andrews (South Bay Music Awards), Arias Webster Berry (Entertainment Entertainment), and Producer/Production Manager Sid Zuber, (Creative Marketing Agency).
“ Hip Hop 101 Music & Arts Festival is our way to acknowledge the achievements of every artist by creating a platform and embracing Hip Hop’s culture and unity through the expression of music, beats, graffiti, visual arts, performing arts and lyrics,” exclaimed Executive Producer Ken Andrews. Andrew’s vision for this festival was to bring awareness of not only today’s wide hip hop genre but of old school hip-hop as well.
Hip Hop 101’s incredible line up included: Ludacris, Common, turntableist Mix Master Mike of the Beastie Boys and Grammy-Nominated alternative Afro-Punk singer Janelle Monae. Guests were also able to enjoy live graffiti art, visual art instillations, and a hip-hop visual jam from Visual Symphony.
Empowering education, the festival provided a scholarship for the winner of their Millennium Dance Complex dance competition. Hip Hop 101 has provided support for those who carry the dream to succeed in the hip-hop industry. The festival grants exposure, knowledge, and a platform for the achievers and the achieved in hip-hop culture.
Alternative Afro-Punk singer Janelle Monae was first up, giving the crowd a run for their money as she juked and jived up and down the stage pouring her heart out during every one of her songs.
I do have to say that Monae is one hell of a performer; she is an artist that will not leave her set until she has given her fans everything she came with that night. Fans enjoyed her hits, “ Sincerely Jane” and “ Many Moons.”
Monae thought it would be a great idea to grab her water bottle and pour water all over her front row audience to cool them off from her hot performance. Her audience loved every second of it.
Next in line was dope emcee Common, who is mainly recognized for his positive approach in the hip-hop game. Once Common stepped out on stage the real party had begun. He hyped up the crowd with the announcement that the concert has just turned into a party in celebration of real hip-hop and for everybody to jump out of their seats and head towards the stage.
The audience was definitely in favor of his party announcement—fans rushed towards the stage, stood on seats and danced through his whole set. Common performed past hits such as “ I Used To Love H.E.R.” and “ The Light.” He also serenaded the crowd in the middle of his set with an owed to hip-hop by performing a variety of different hip-hop songs we all know and love by artists such as Biz Markie, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg.
Common ended his performance with songs off his new album, Universal MindControl, such as “Punch Drunk Love,” “Sex 4 Suga,” and his latest album named single “Universal Mind Control.” Watching Common perform is an honor as he exudes authentic hip-hop.
Ending a night to remember, rapper Ludacris took stage and brang down the house with hits old and new. He brought back classics like, “What’s Your Fantasy,” “Area Codes,” “Move Bitch,” and “Act a Fool;” Ludacris also pleased the crowd with his recent hits, “What Them Girls Like,” and “One More Drink.”
Lil’ Fate, I-20, and Shawnna joined Luda on set giving the fans a collaborative masterpiece of a show throwing out freestyles and words of wisdom expressing what they feel real hip-hop is.
Overall, Hip Hop 101 Music and Arts festival was a complete success celebrating Black History Month and acknowledging the true essence of hip-hop culture of the past and present. The performing line up, art, and dance aspect of the festival couldn’t have been any better leaving all the festival participants with the message of appreciating genuine hip-hop through a wide variety of expressions and talents.
All photos were provided by Linda Kasian photography.