The final day of A3C (click here for a recap of Day One & Two) had plenty to live up to. We know those who had been there since Thursday were running on reserved energy. Those who had decided to pick the final day for their first taste of the festival wouldn’t be disappointed. One stage brought golden era hip-hop to the forefront once more, another played pick and choose between some of the best artists in the country.  Day three sum-mated everything right with A3C, an open festival that maintains its stature as a popular event yet still undervalued by some.

More than likely there’ll be a massive outpour of people in Atlanta for A3C 2012, and we’ll return for more. Here’s the recap of the festival’s third day:


Before Brooklyn had Jay-Z, they had Big Daddy Kane. Considered ahead of his time by some, Kane took the stage around midnight Sunday as the final act A3C had to offer. After being warmed up (no pun intended) by an all BK tribute courtesy of Torae, Skyzoo & J-Live, BDK took hold of the stage as if it were ’88 all over again.

His trusted dancers Scoob & Scrap executed every move with precision; the crowd pretty much transfixed on every syllable that dropped from his lips and when he paid homage to The Juice Crew by bringing out MC Shan, Masquerade could have gone topless. “I Get The Job Done” led to a break where Kane played master of ceremonies, ushering in old school hip-hop cuts as a form of “education” to the under-30 crowd. We obliged, screamed, hollered and jump for joy at every moment. Dueling chants of “Warm It Up, Kane” & “Ain’t No Half Steppin'” penetrated the set, well before Kane even broke a sweat (from our distance, he could have gone for three hours without breaking one).

Kane left no doubt that his accolades preceded him as the Asiatic swept through double time flows, manicured to be heard and understood. Atlanta, if only for a brief moment turned into a mini version of Rock The Bells where even if Kane didn’t know some of the words to his cuts, he’d still show why he’s considered one of the best to ever do it. No Half Steppin’ indeed. – T. Piper

Doughbeezy & Killa Kyleon


Time restraints are terrible. The revolutionary voices of Dead Prez were silenced due to Atlanta’s restrictions on outdoor activity past eleven as they closed the AllHipHop “Breeding Ground” Showcase. Even with the law, DP delivered on the end of A3C’s most populated outdoor stage with a mixture of the same material which made them favorites in the early aughts and established gangsters of education. Both M1 & made mention of Troy Davis to a rousing applause from the crowd & a hat tip to the League of Extraordinary Gz who felt like kids getting top honors.

Before the revolutionary gangsters took the stage, Brownsville’s best posse, M.O.P. set the table by going through almost every standout cut from their discography. Yes, they came out to a loud roar with “Cold As Ice”, screamed “how about some hardcore”, set a “4 Alarm Blaze” and told everyone hungry in front of success to “Ante Up”. As a whole, the entire stage was commanded by East Coast rappers (save for Ras Kass who went through a spirited jaunt), the majority of whom sided with Statik Selektah. Termanology & R.E.K.S. both brought it with production from the likes of Premier but it was Texas’ own Killa Kyleon who set the tone.

Kyleon’s set lasted for all of fifteen minutes and in that time, Team Run It took a small crowd of possibly 75 to 200 within minutes. Doughbeezy, the darling of Houston hip-hop at the moment played hypeman, rumbling through “Salute Me”, “Regular/Average” and Killa’s “Ballin’ Freestyle” before the stand hand motioned with the sort of cut throat tendency Chris Beniot used to. Nobody was harmed but without “Bodies”, Killa may have left the stage in complete disarray. Chants of “We Want Killa” broke out, not to mention the ever anxious yet ready Doughbeezy itching to do his own thing if anything else happened.

Memo to A3C, forget the rules. If a emcee has a crowd in the palm in his hands, let him at least rock one more track. – Brando

Not a performer, just someone excited to see BDK.


Not much time was spent near the Earmilk Stage but what was caught, performances from Jus Nice, Phil Ade, Murs, Ski Beatz & tabi Bonney were all worth the day pass some may have purchased to catch them live in person. The collective of Murs, tabi & Ski (and his equally impressive band The Senseis) were in Houston no more than two weeks ago so obviously it was like watching your DVR over again but with the same enjoyable feeling. Everytime a classic Ski track drops, your attention gets drawn towards it.

Ade, the DC native, former Letterman turned member of spaced out Hillman College immediately proved why he’s a growing name on the scene by compiling a dizzying succession of bars specifically nuanced for fan approval. Combine that with Jus Nice’s street team, an assembly of women in tight T-shirts and Earmilk provided a daytime win. – Brando



For three days, A3C’s Audio Panel room was host to a number of things. If we were passing out awards for this particular event, it may win on diversity points. Letting actual performers rock was something that always distracted us passing by but not on this day. Both RayDawn from Pittsburgh & Houston’s own hasHBrown did their thing.

Ray filled in a bit earlier than his scheduled start for Nitty Scott, MC who arrived a little late after her set and was unceremoniously booted from the set. A bummer, yes but the Pittsburgh kid with a penchant for wine ripped through his “Yacht Music” filled set with common man appeal. Not bad for a law school dropout turned black & yellow buzzmaker.

hash on the other hand made a crowd swoon for Anita Baker records and “break something” material highlighting everything the producer/emcee is all about, recognized but still outspoken enough to call certain things what he may see them as. All of this work in Atlanta was in preparation for Break Something, his upcoming LP slated to drop later this month. – T. Piper

T. Piper & Jarobi Outside OKP Stage.


The third day began with the much anticipated reunion of Fashawn & Exile of Boy Meets World fame. In addition to that, fans were treated to an energetic set from Donny Goines who actually broke the mold and came off stage to rock with the fans and more.

Memphis’ Skewby may have the tendencies to give rather than receive (he gave his fans a gift on his own birthday mind you) but when it comes to showing a side of Memphis that is well beyond an outsiders perception, he’s selfish as hell. Might be the only time being selfish is a good thing as Skewb will easily relate to the fans in the crowd, some maybe no older than he is.

The diversity behind the OkayPlayer stage was evident thanks to Nikkiya’s smooth transition from organ tinged soul burner to aggressive pop in the form of “I’m Doing Me”. Pretty neat to know she’s from South Carolina, a state not known for its hip-hop, or R&B for that matter but definitely one to keep an eye on in the future. – Brando


– Saturday was the only day we didn’t hit the Perfect Attendance stage, mostly due to the large crowd leaving Dead Prez to hit Big Daddy Kane. Multiple acts rocked I’m sure but the appeal of Perfect Attendance got snatched the moment The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy” hit in tribute.

– By missing Perfect Attendance, we also missed ASAP Rocky. Jury’s still out live wise but in terms of strictly audio, he makes for a good listen or two.

– Apparently Brando ran into QuEsT & Lyriciss sometime in between a stage at the audio panel. He told a story, QuEsT felt humbled and the mantra of “pay it forward” continued. Actually, meeting a lot of artists we like and have featured on the site was interesting to say the least. When you take online presence offline, you’re doing something right.

– Atlanta traffic, if you didn’t already know is some of the worst traffic imaginable. One wreck can shut down an entire freeway for an hour, which in festival time could mean an eternity. It may be the lone downside to a great city. Thank you for having us Atlanta, we’ll see you soon!