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Yes, the Hip Hop Theater Festival is back in DC and we are (hella?) excited. It’s another week of good music (real hip hop still lives!), good people (Talib Kweli at the Black Cat on Friday!), and, of course, good theater. And all for free! We talked to a few of the event coordinators/directors, and now we have a little sneak peek for you here at BYT. Check the whole schedule out online here.
The Foundation: DMC DJ Exhibition
6pm / / Kennedy Center Millennium Stage / / 2700 F Street, NW
About the Event: Featuring two of the best DJs in the USA, this Millennium Stage event marks the first time the Festival will showcase the skills behind the art form of turntablism, where the turntables, under the hands of the DJs, become instruments to rock the crowd. Special guests include legendary DJ Rockin’ Rob, from the Bronx, NYC and DMC USA Supremacy Champion, DJ I-Dee.
Why BYT readers MUST go: DJs do more than just get you to bump and grind at a smoky, dimly lit club. Turntablism is an art and this is a chance to finally get to see them work real magic. Also, the event is at the Kennedy Center! Say What? Dj Rockin’ Rob and DMC USA Supremacy Champion, DJ I-Dee are about to turn this mother out.
How to Prepare: Watch this creepy video of the best dj ever, and then be glad that that’s not actually what you’re going to see tonight.
Paige In Full
7pm / / Studio Theater / / 1501 14th Street, NW
From Director Danielle Drakes
About the Event: The Hegira’s Paige in Full is a 60-minute visual mix-tape that blends poetry, dance, visual arts and live music to tell the tale of a multicultural girl growing up Black-Cuban-Chinese-American in Baltimore, MD. Ethnicity and popular culture are explored in a uniquely personal, yet universal, journey through the lens of hip-hop.
How to Prepare: Be ready to paaaartaaaay!
I also recommend: Definitely check out UNIVERSES!
Where My Girls At?
9pm / / Studio Theater / / 1501 14th Street, NW
From Nursha Project Founder Shalonda Ingram
About the Event: This hilarious comedy let’s the audience decide which Black Lesbian will fill the last slot on a reality TV show for Black women. Audiences will laugh, sing, and get Fabulosity Make-Overs all in one show.
Why BYT readers MUST go: You have never had an experience like this before.
How to Prepare: Put a mint in your mouth, read a blog, tap into your Yoni power and/or get some fabulous shoes!
I also recommend: Late night at Bus Boys and Poets Thursday July 8th.
5th Annual J Dilla Concert
9pm / / Studio Theater / / 1501 14th Street, NW
From Event Producer/local DJ Munch Joseph
About the Event: 5th Annual DC Loves Dilla Benefit is a dynamic live concert that pays homage to one of the most underrated producers of our time, J Dilla (Think: A Tribe Called Quest, Badu, Common, Pharcyde, Slum Village). Now in its 5th year, the Tribute & Fundraiser pairs a full live band w/horns led by the brilliant Jon Laine with the areas most flavorful talents to reproduce some of J Dilla’s best work. This years special guest is “The BK MC”, Talib Kweli.
New this year is a social justice fusion, “It Stops In Arizona”, which serves to get our peeps thinking about the controversial Arizona immigration law.
The event also helps to raise funds for The J Dilla Foundation (jdilla.org) and The Lupus Foundation (lupusgw.org). Lastly, two progressive cultural events, HHTF and DC Loves Dilla Benefit makes for cultural Shangri-La.
Why BYT readers MUST go: We’re all tired of the wackness in music. And if Real Hip Hop had a place of worship, this would be it. It’s a perfect blend of entertainment and spirit-filled energy. Plus it is always one of the best Hip Hop events in the city. Hands Down. “The Real Hip-Hop Is Over Here.”
How to Prepare: Do a few windmills, then grab some kitchen utensils and bang out your favorite early 90’s Hip Hop track on the kitchen table while your peoples dance reeeeal hard. Then you all scream at the top of your lungs about how whack radio music is right now. Too excited now, so immediately hit a HHTF show to ground and settle your nerves a bit. Gotta eat so grab a CLIF bar or something with your fave bev of choice. Do another windmill for good measure while thinkin’ of your Dopest Dilla beat….. I think you’re ready.
I also recommend: ALL OF THEM. Something special about each one.
The Freshest Of All Time
2-8pm / / Columbia Heights Youth Club / / 1480 Girard Street NW
From Mazi Mutafa
About the Event: The District of Columbia’s largest B-Boy Jam celebrates one of the cornerstones of Hip-Hop culture – the B-Boy Battle. This event features some of the most prominent crews from DC, Maryland, Virginia, Philadelphia, Boston and New York. The Freshest of All Time will feature two-on-two b-boy/girl, one-on-one b-girl and small fry competitions. The 2009 event was attended by over 600 teens and adults. Note: The event runs all day so audiences are encouraged to attend at their leisure. There will be a second element to the freshest this year. We have partnered with Albus Cavus to co-host Mural Jam at the same time at Edgewood, behind the Rhode Island Ave. shopping center. Both events are free and open to the public. (http://www.albuscav.us/edgewood.html)
Why BYT readers MUST go: This is one of the biggest event for hip-hop in the city. Now in its third year, we are expecting an audience of more than 1,000 participants. This jam attracts b-boys/girls and small fries from all over the mid atlantic and is well worth the journey. It includes a graffiti gallery, video game tournament and BBQ. It’s an event with something for everyone. Don’t take my word for it though, take a look at last years video footage.
How to Prepare: We’re just hoping that this year no one pulls the fire alarm.
I also recommend: The two other events you MUST attend are “Paige in Full” and the J Dilla Benefit Concert. This show is amazing. I got a chance to see it in the dramatic reading stage of it’s development and was blown away. The second must see is the J Dilla Benefit Concert. This is an event for the true music heads.