Atlanta's three-day 2012 A3C Hip-Hop Festival kicked off last night (October 11) and provided thrills for fans and artists alike. Taking place in a handful of venues throughout the city, A3c has done a masterful job in curating the best talent from the West and East Coast, as well as a bevy of celebrated southern acts. Cyhi The Prynce, Lil Keke, Killa Kyleon, DJ Red Alert, Honors English and others are graced stages at various points over the course of the night.
Overwhelming for first time attendees and frustrating for fans who want to check out more than one show, every facet of Hip-Hop culture is satisfied all the same. Fashion, art, music and visuals are all part of the experience, even though this year seemed scaled down in comparison to last year. Although a good distance from the main Masquerade “campus” area, Terminal West was the place to be last night for the “BET Music Matters” showcase featuring headliner Big Boi, Skyzoo, Kirko Bangz, Phil Ade, Kris Kasanova and Rapsody.
Brooklyn's Kris Kasanova opened for the showcase, which got off to a late start and ran through some mixtape joints both new and previously released. DMV rising star Phil Ade thrilled the crowd with a short but high energy set. Bronx vet The Kid Daytona rocked out and was drenched with sweat at the end of his set, wisely mentioning he was actually born in Atlanta.
Houston's Kirko Bangz changed the mood in the venue as his smoother style chilled down the pyrotechnics of the preceding acts. Kirko turned it up after bringing fellow Texas rhyme slinger Trae The Truth onto the stage. Skyzoo, an A3C mainstay, lit up the stage with his confident and capable bars. He surprised fans during the performance of his single “Jansport Strings” when he brought the recently freed Chi Ali out to perform the remix of the track.
Rapsody was joined by her mentor and producer 9th Wonder and held it down for female MCs worldwide. Giving props to Jean Grae, Queen Latifah, Rah Digga and others, she crafted a fitting tribute to Lauryn Hill before launching into some blistering lyrics.
Complete with a drummer, DJ and hype man, Big Boi delighted the audience and kept the hopes of an Outkast reunion alive after making certain that the duo is still a group despite other claims in the media. Running through all of Outkast's famous hits, sans Andre 3000 of course, Big Boi brought out his former Purple Ribbon ally Killa Mike which led to uproarious approval from the crowd.
Check out photos of the artists that hit the stage in the gallery below.
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Photos: D.L. Chandler