If anything was learned from us randomly trekking for about four days in Austin, Texas, it was to simply be prepared to see any and everything, regardless of location. While A3C, the Southeast’s biggest hip-hop festival isn’t as outrageous as ATX is with SXSW, it does bring in a heap of beautiful women, food and diverse hip-hop.

With five stages to cover between a good six hours, the time spent in each either grew due to crowd interaction or shrunk due to the insane number of acts (and aching legs). Without further adieu, here’s what went down on day one of A3C.


The HipNott Records head honcho and one of the industry’s most noted underground hip-hop blogs was first out of the five stages to start the day off. The Nottingham set lived up to its billing as the “Underground Express” with head nodding performances from J-Live, The Artifacts, the beautiful Lyric Jones who makes a cryptic message like “rappers are in danger” look scary given her looks & Rapper Big Pooh who blitzed through a multitude of Little Brother classics as well as some of his solo work.

Near the end of his set, Pooh urged the crowd to remember his Dirty Pretty Things album was coming on November 1st, which means buy it and support it however you can. Considering that their stage was near most of the merch tables, it was hard not to pull away something as we kept petitioning for an official A3C fitted for naught. At least we had gorgeous women offering us cupcakes for free. – T. Piper


To be perfectly honest, Fadia Kader & The Smoking Section have come up with the most split and out there list in terms of acts to grace their stage. Day One was no different as ATL mainstays the Ying Yang Twins closed with a set that composed mostly of their hits from the early aughts.

It seemed weird plugging them in alongside a cast of up & comers such as Skewby, XV (who may never be able to shake the damn tag even when he has a track featured on NBA 2K12), Skeme and Marz Lovejoy who made us believers of her solo work (and vibrant performance). The surprise of the night happened to belong to Killer Mike, who pretty much can walk through a venue, get love from everybody and then proceed to rip through a set and nobody will stop him. It was quite surprising watching him give an introduction to a man who went by the name of PK. PK claimed to out rap any rapper in Atlanta, telling fans they could head home after his set and thensome. Audacious and bold, even to the point where he stopped midway through to hit “Gigolo’s Get Lonely Too” from Morris Day & The Time.

Dallas’ 7even:Thirty woke up a sort of listless crowd with a rousing performance, giving way to the likes of GLC, Rockie Fresh & YP. Still, who would be willing to believe the Yang Twins closed a festival stage in 2011? – Brando


Sean Price is a bloodletting rap monster from New York City. P doesn’t care how you may feel about him (he may as well say it to your face) or your standing in life. His goal is to simply deliver guttural raps with enough comedy behind them that you immediately dip into a scrunch face. Whether it be by his assistance on Gods’illa’s “Saviours & Punishers”  (they killed by the way) or when he’s delivering gully bars with Random Axe, P isn’t one to mess around, period.

P along with Guilty Simpson & an energetic Black Milk closed out night one of A3C with a rousing performance of their debut album as well as a few solo cuts here and there. Warming up the stage for them was D.R.E.S. Tha Beatnik who at times looked like his job was done for him as a hypeman as fans immediately recognized the next acts. Still, credit to him for making people remember Jay Electronica’s “Exhibit C” with vigor & flair.

Whether it be by Senor Kaos’ bouncy opening or Freeway’s elongated set where he pretty much could pick through his catalog and fans would go apeshit (hell even Freddie f*cking Gibbs showed up), HHDX’s stage commanded the upstairs portion of Masquerade like a family reunion, which is what most of these festivals feel like to begin with. Except, we need beards to fit in. – T. Piper


Traveling through Atlanta on random missions can always lead to finding great hangouts. Here’s a few we suggest while in Atlanta.

Wish is probably the most stylishly designed shoe store I’ve seen with a glass floor in the middle and a basement that could double as a cave of sneakers.  (447 Moreland Ave NE)

Savage Pizza’s layout and comic book atmosphere makes for a geeked out atmosphere where the bathroom is actually recommended.  (484 Moreland Ave NE)

– The New Era store hosted a mixer and registration but most of the action occurred outside where a gang of artists and various media types found themselves kicking it, including one media personality who said she usually dry humps people for a first impression. How neat. (117 Luckie St) – Brando