One local artist, G Yamazawa, recently experienced some major popularity. He performed at the Hopscotch Music Festival earlier this month, and saw his song, “North Cack,” from the album, “Shouts to Durham,” climb to No. 3 on Spotify’s “Viral 50” chart.
He is especially excited about the festival’s unique feeling.
“I imagine that it will feel like a big cookout,” Yamazawa said. “It’s very close quarters, small proximity, so I think it’s going to be a real cool, family-style kind of vibe. And I mean that in the most positive way.”
Hip-hop is more than just a style to G Yamawaza — it’s a way to view the world.
“I have a very hip-hop-centric lens,” he said. “And it’s allowed me to feel proud of my counter-narrative — and proud of, sort of, just what it means to be different and what it feels like to be proud of being of a different lineage.”
John Harmon, better known as "The Real Laww," is not just a managing partner of Beats n Bars, but also another local artist performing at the event. His mission with Taylor is to build stronger communities through hip-hop and to engage fans from Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.
"My performance will consist of a lot of jumping around, a lot of crowd interactions, a lot of hands raised, a lot of smiling faces and a lot of people dancing and sweating," Harmon said. "It’s high energy — high energy with a message.”
Bentley said she is excited to see Nitty Scott, an Afro-Latina artist, because of the powerful feminist messages that she incorporates into her lyrics.
CyHi the Prynce, who was signed by Kanye West, will also be featured, along with Nick Grant and other artists whose recent work has gained recognition.
Given this blend of local and national talent, it is no surprise that Beats n Bars has garnered some national attention recently. Between gaining three national sponsors and the popular music website, “okayplayer,” picking up the event’s lineup, the word about the festival is spreading beyond Durham.
The Beats n Bars team hopes that Chapel Hill students will come out to the festival.
“I sort of feel like Durham’s gotten alienated from Raleigh and Chapel Hill, and I hope that folks from the surrounding areas and the triangle feel welcomed and feel invited,” Yamawaza said.
Beats n Bars is a celebration of hip-hop that will leave no aspect of urban culture unexplored.
“We cater to all of the pillars of hip-hop culture — to the graffiti, to the MCs, producers, DJs — and knowledge as well, with the conference component of it,” Taylor said.
The event will open at 7 p.m. tomorrow with a conference with Cyhi the Prynce about his life and music, and will continue until 2 a.m. Sunday.
Students can use promo code, “BnBComp,” for free tickets until they run out. For discounted tickets, students can use the code, “BNBFreshman,” and show a school ID at the gate.