Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Recap: SXSW 2011 - Hip Hop Hope

Our Hip Hop Hope Unity Conference panel discussion at the Carver Cultural Center

Three days later I think I'm FINALLY catching up on the sleep lost from late nights at SXSW.

Our third year there presenting Christian hip hop in a variety of formats was another good one. We had a jam packed concert roster, a killer panel discussion, and three full days of events.

Highlights include:

Thursday's Artist Fellowship Dinner

I wasn't able to attend, but several people told me how much they enjoyed this kickoff event. There, artists and fans were all the same and got to know each other on a personal level outside of the stage.

Frontline crew's performance of "U Rydin" from Friday night's showcase concert

By the time 10pm rolled around the crowd energy had (understandably) waned - that is until these Houston boys came up and absolutely wrecked shop. See the video below and ask yourself: Is Frontline the next 116 Clique?

Fonzworth Bentley

The former Diddy personal assistant/MTV's "G's to Gents" reality show host and current fashion entrepreneur/G.O.O.D. Music signee worked both of our concerts AND panel discussion into his busy schedule and was an awesome addition to the weekend. (Props to theBREAX for making that connect.) Be sure to keep and eye out for Bentley's new work and encourage him in the faith when you can.

The artist panel discussion

Wow! I organized and moderated the thing, but God was the one who used and orchestrated the conversation. Our discussion focused on the practicalities of full-time music ministry and was so good we had to extend its run time by at least half an hour. There were varied viewpoints but a unified purpose and vision. Peep the video clip below for a short sample.

Scott Free played host on Friday night & workshop instructor on Saturday

Scott Free's Hip Hop Missions workshop

I wish more artists were able to attend this because the content was so rich and challenging. I take the blame for that because we had to rearrange the schedule at the last minute, but if you get a chance, be sure to check out this message and what Free is doing with this City Takers movement in Atlanta.

Solo from the Gospel Gangstaz busts out his sword - Photo by Von Won

Gospel Gangstaz mix old school and new school

The OGG's reminded us that the West Coast still reps the cross and had a high energy and fun performance of "Keep It on the Low" with mic partners 007 & Martay on stage to do it up right.

JR was interviewed by the Factor Effects crew backstage at Saturday night's concert

New songs from JR, Da' T.R.U.T.H., and Ambassador

We haven't heard from some of these guys in a minute so it was nice to see them again and get a sneak peek at all three of their upcoming albums.

The Christian rap community took over a restaurant after everything was done

40+ Christian rap artists and affiliates at Baby Acapulco's

Once the last mic cord was wrapped about 40 of us ended up crashing a Tex-Mex joint at 12:30am. It was a great way to end a long weekend with a ton of new and old friends.


That's just a brief glimpse of what went down. For more, follow all of your favorite Christian hip hop artists on Twitter or Facebook as I'm sure even more photos and videos will be popping up online in the weeks to come.

And prayerfully, we'll be back to rep the King through hip hop at SXSW again next year.

More pics:

DJ D-Lite & DJ Wade-O man the turntables at Friday night's concert

Pro gets hyped before hitting the stage - Photo by Von Won

CheeseBeats, Tre9, and Von Won chill in the artist green room - Photo by Von Won

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