This past weekend, KNC DJs JermE and chilimango attended the second year of Beats n Bars festival. Beats n Bars was a two day fest focused on hip-hop culture, and featured a variety of locally and nationally known artists.
From the website:
The art of MCing, B-Boying, DJing and graffiti all are integral components that are culturally represented in our community and its importance of the sustainability of its kind or culture.
Beats n Bars mission is to build stronger community through the influence of urban culture and music.
The annual festival is hosted by Crystal Taylor, CEO of the Underground Collective, and John Laww (aka The Real Laww), the CEO of the Durm Hip-Hop Summit.
From DJ JermE:
I thought the Beats N Bars festival was a nice little festival. It was a good atmosphere and there was good music. This festival put me on to some talented artists in the Raleigh Durham area, and also featured some more well-known artists such as Cyhi the Prynce. The artists that left an impression on me were TheDeeepEnd, Sean Kyd, and Jooselord Magnus. They brought that ENERGY and, most importantly, they had bars. I also enjoyed the Lion King; I caught him outside for a little bit he was more of a chill reggaeton type rapper. I also thought the battle of the beats was a necessary component to this festival since it’s called “Beats N Bars”–it was pretty hype.
Overall it was a good atmosphere. I feel like they should continue doing this, and try to make it an even bigger festival in the future. This would help promote the local rappers who are trying to use this as a platform to get more known.
From DJ chilimango:
While we were only able to catch the second day of the festival, I was impressed by what I saw. As press, I had the opportunity to interview some of the artists who would play that evening, including G Yamazawa and Nick Grant. The flow of the fest was well organized, from the interview sessions, to the layout of the stages and lineup. The artists were well curated, and I appreciated the focus not only on the music, but on other components of hip-hop as well (MCing, BBoying, DJing, and graffiti). One of my favorite acts was Maestra–she emanated poise and power, and has an amazing voice.
Because the festival is still young, there wasn’t a huge crowd attendance. While it could have been a little more hype, I did enjoy the intimacy that comes with smaller crowd–people knew each other, there wasn’t as much pushing and shoving to get to the shows, and you were able to meet many of the artists between sets. JermE and I were blessed with press passes, which granted us access to the front of the mainstage–that’s an experience I likely wouldn’t have gotten at a larger festival. I loved the people and the music, and hope Beats n Bars continues to grow in the coming years!
Stay tuned for a recap video, as well as a podcast featuring interviews with artists like Maestra, Nick Grant, and G Yamazawa! The audio story will be aired on our specialty show, the Oak City Move.