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The A3C Hip-Hop festival closed out in a major way Sunday afternoon. A3C & Okayplayer hosted The Best Block Party Ever with some of the best DJs in hip-hop. It was held at the Old 4th Ward stage off of Boulevard in Atlanta, GA. D.R.E.S. Tha Beatnik served as the MC for the Block Party, and as usual he kept the crowd hype for hip-hop. The DJs on the bill for the Block Party were none other than ?uestlove, DJ Premier, Young G`uru, DJ Maseo, DJ Scratch, and Diamond D. By the time we arrived, turntable mixologist DJ Scratch of EPMD was going on to rock the crowd. Of course DJ Scratch kept the crowd rocking with plenty heat, but what captivated everyone was the way he scratched and cut on the turntables while performing. DJ Scratch did spin moves, picked up the turntable while scratching, and even mixed and scratched with his tongue! DJ Maseo of De La Soul was up next and he blazed us with some classic R&B and classic hip-hop.
It would not be a hip-hop block party without an impromptu MC freestyle battle. Four MCs were vying for a chance to win a new pair of Sony headphones. DJ Jay Cee provided the beats along with D.R.E.S. on deck calling the battle. ?uestlove of The Roots was up next to rock the crowd. ?uestlove took a very unique approach to the wheels of steel. ?uestlove would spin the record that was sampled in hip-hop, and then mix in the hip-hop joint that used the sample. One of my favorites was when he mixed Michael Jackson’s hit song Pretty Young Thing (P.Y.T.). Kanye West sampled the song for his hit record The Good Life. The cool thing about it is the way Kanye used the sample. You would really have to have an ear for music and know music to pick up on it in the song. ?uestlove slowed down P.Y.T. to show how Kanye used the sample so you could recognize the sample and then he hit you with The Good Life.
Not soon after the nice feel good weather turned sour quickly. The rain started slowly and eventually went into a torrential downpour forcing the block party goers to seek shelter. But that did not ruin the festivities for the A3C finale. The party continued on at Space 2! Overall this year’s festival was huge for A3C, and we are definitely anxiously awaiting to see the lineup that 2014 has to offer because we know it will be epic once again………..
Recap & Video: Kedric Barrett
Photography: Carolyn Grady