A continuation of the Tucson Hip Hop Summit, the Tucson Hip Hop Festival is an event presented by the University of Arizona's College of Humanities' Africana Studies program and will be held from noon to midnight at 191 Toole, downtown. More than 60 local and touring artists will be involved, including Big Meridox (seen above).
Here is what Star music writer Cathy Burch had to say about it:
Want to see how vibrant and alive Tucson's hip-hop scene is?
Head downtown Saturday, Feb. 25, and you can experience a cast of 60 rappers including popular transplanted and local acts Murs, Lando Chill, Marley B, Cash Lansky and Jaca Zulu for the 2017 Tucson Hip Hop Festival.
The festival, which got its start in 2015 as the Tucson Hip Hop Summit, will be held at 191 E. Toole Ave. in what's being described as a block party spread across five venues near the corner of Toole and Sixth avenues: Studio One, Exploded View, Expanded Universe, The Docks and inside and outside stages at 191 Toole. There's also a so-called Rap Van.
The festival runs from noon to midnight and is all ages (13 and older); admission is $10.
In a written statement on the event's website, founder and organizer Pike Romero said the festival is meant to shine a spotlight on Tucson's hip-hop scene.
“The diversity of the Tucson music scene explodes through hip hop, and it needs to be known," he said. "From events to style to a community unlike anywhere I've seen or heard, the quality of hip-hop artists here outweighs the quantity. Showcasing all of the elements of hip hop is about embracing Tucson’s culture.”
The festival also will have guest speakers including Justin Hunte of Hip Hop DX, Mello Music Group’s Michael Toole and professors from the University of Arizona's Hip Hop minor program to explore everything from native communities in hip hop to tips for artists on event booking and promotion.
In addition to showcasing the local talent, the festival shines a light on hip-hop's cultural impact. Producers, DJs, B-boys, graffiti artists and thinkers are part of the fun, giving a fuller picture to how hip hop is represented in Tucson's diverse culture.
Meanwhile, one of the grandfathers of modern hip-hop will visit the University of Arizona as part of Black History Month on Tuesday, Feb. 28, to talk about the evolution and future of the genre as well as give a live demo. He will be in Crowder Hall, North Park Avenue and East Speedway in the Fred Fox School of Music complex, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Admission is free and tickets are available at the door.
Grandmaster Flash, a founding father of hip hop, will speak at the UA on Tuesday, Feb. 28.
Courtesy UA College of Humanities
Grandmaster Flash, regarded as a founding father of hip hop, and the Furious Five crew were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. His appearance is the finale event to the Africana Studies’ Program Black History Month and it will include a trio of local rappers who won a DJ competition earlier this month. Grandmaster Flash is expected to give the winners feedback and advice on their rapping technique and style.
Five years ago, the UA started the country's first hip-hop degree designation: the hip-hop concentration in the College of Humanities' minor in Africana Studies