Artists and performers from North Carolina and other states in the South will gather this weekend in Chapel Hill for Hip Hop South, a celebration of the region’s unique artistic styles.
Starting April 22, the festival will include two nights of live music at several venues, including Cat’s Cradle. There will also be a virtual lecture on sneaker culture, an exhibition of hip-hop scholarship and a public mural.
Among the co-curators of the festival are two Harvard Nasir Jones Hip Hop Fellows, Christopher Massenburg (also known as Dasan Ahanu), an adjunct professor at UNC and Regina Bradley, a professor at Kennesaw State University.
Carolina Performing Arts is sponsoring the event as part of Southern Futures: a University-wide interdisciplinary project aimed at redefining the South from within, focusing on the arts and humanities.
“It’s an initiative that is designed to meet this moment of change, of social justice, and everything that has happened in the past few years,” said Jane O’Hara, associate director of marketing and communications at CPA.
Kicking off inaugural festival
While the hip-hop genre is often dominated by artists from the Northeast and the West Coast, Massenburg said, the curators want to exhibit Southern hip-hop and the culture that surrounds it.
“It’s not just the drum and the hi-hat,” Massenburg said.
Since hip-hop traditionally samples from other music genres, the South has different sources of inspiration than other parts of the country, he said.