Friday, April 16, 2010

Trinity Hip-Hop Festival 2010

“This is a Public Service Announcement.  Hip-Hop is locked up in prison and Hip-Hop is free. Hip-Hop is poor, and Hip-Hop is rich. Hip-Hop is art.  Rap costs money but Hip-Hop does not.  Hip-Hop is education.  Hip-Hop is law.  Hip-Hop is health care.  Hip-Hop is protest.  Not just when rappers show up at the protest to promote their new album.  Hip-Hop is protest even when rapper don’t show up, and its just heads from the block, standing together in the rain and the cold” (Hoch, 2002, taken from Words.Beats.Life “The Global Journal of Hip-Hop and Culture”)

This is the first quote which I think fully encapsulated the essence of the 5th Annual Trinity Hip-Hop Festival.  A collection of Artists and Fans congregating under one roof to celebrate the nature and unity of the global concept of Hip-Hop.

This weekend I spent time and traveled from New York to Connecticut to involve myself in this event.  Preparing myself to be educated on the true essence of Hip-Hop.  Along with my friends Angela from Mushana and Babaluku from the Bavubuka All Starz I looked to explore how this event could relate to a Ugandan Based Movement whilst miles away.  What I found was a collection of minds willing and wanting to explore every corner of Hip-Hop from around the Globe.  The encouragement of the mother tongue, and the acceptance of Hip-Hop as not singing and rapping for monetary gain but a tool which transforms and changes lives and even governing bodies through the presentation of truth and the community efforts of Social Change.

How did this event move me as an African Based Photographer? For a while I have been formulating and conceptualizing my Contemporary Tribe Project and as an African Based Photographer was looking to explore an event which claims to encourage, nurture and promote Global Hip-Hop.  After all these minds are the perfect representation of the Contemporary Tribe, collections of people who believe in the same concepts but are spread around the world pushing for their own revolutions whilst trying to collectively gain awareness of their indigenous struggles.
At face value the room is filled with a mass of Hip-Hop Artists and enthusiasts, but brushing past tables and conversations it becomes clear that this is not your average collection of human beings.  As you move through the first apparent tones in conversations is that of an introduction, networking from every angle.  Move forward to the noticing of dialects, Arabic, French, Wolof,  Spanish, Luganda, and Creole.  And finally to variation of subjects, from Hip-Hop to Cuba, Africa to America and the universal messages of social change, unity, community and smiles on the faces of the youth they represent.  This is one sect of the Contemporary Tribe.  A group of people from many walks of life each celebrating their cultures together under one medium Hip-Hop.

There was one particular spirit amongst these that blew me away.  That was of ‘The Reminders’ front lady Aja Black.  A Mother, Wife and the combination of her and her husband spreading inspirational messages through a Reggae and Hip-Hop fusion.  I photographed her as part of my collection after her performance, allowing her to formulate her own dots as a representation of her own indigenous spirit.

Moving on to KRS-ONE.  The writer of the Hip-Hop Bible and the founder of the Temple of Hip-Hop, and one of the first prolific Artists of the Hip-Hop generation.  The feeling in the room is one of excitement, awe and inspiration as he moves through classics and continues to spread the message of independence and community development.  But more so than this show of his musical talent I am struck by his teams willingness to give back to communities which look up to the Temple for strength and as a pillar of education.  They were kind enough to have copies signed for the Bavubuka Foundation.  Despite their busy schedules they are willing to move out of their way to bring together Hip-Hop globally through the acknowledgment of our Ugandan Youth and the struggle at home through encouragement and positive minds connecting through literature.  So Thank You.  

Check out more photographs and videos and relevant links:
The Reminders:

No comments:

Post a Comment