Melissa Fossum The Arizona Hip Hop Festival featured almost 100 AZ-based hip-hop artists. Full slideshow here.
"The culture is back"
This is what one of the people introducing MCs on the outside stage at the Arizona Hip Hop Festival at Comerica Theatre got the crowd chanting.
I have no idea what the previous culture of Arizona hip-hop was, so I couldn't tell if you if anything made a return, but Saturday night did feel like a distinct moment. MCs spitting bars, DJs spinning, fans watching, nodding their heads and throwing their hands up while kids in the background played games on some old Nintendos hooked up to flat-screen TVs as a guy in camo pants and some friends did capoeira. Again, I don't know if this is a return of local hip-hop culture, but maybe it's a return to culture in general in the downtown area, which can often feel like a lunar landscape, even on a Saturday night. It felt good to see people creating and enjoying art in such a profound way in a public space, and I think that was a huge accomplishment of Respect The Underground's Arizona Hip Hop Festival.More »