On April 4th from 7-10pm at Alloy Studios in East Liberty, the biggest names in local Pittsburgh hip hop will assemble for a discussion panel about Pittsburgh’s local hip hop scene, its strengths, weaknesses and ways to improve it moving forward. The event, which has taken the name “Pittsburgh Hip Hop Summit” after the Pittsburgh-hosted G20 Summit, is the first of its kind in the post-Shadow Lounge era of Pittsburgh Hip Hop and is a much-needed but often-avoided dialogue. Consisting of veteran artists, newcomers, producers and managers, panelists will include artists Beedie, B. White, Chicken, Crystal Seth, JKJ, and Norman Dean, recording studio owner Hitt of MCM, and Zekiel “Zeke” Nicholson of REMember Music Label. The event and discussion will be hosted and led by R.A.R.E. Nation’s founder, Palermo Stone, and will include two performances by Shad Ali and CHRIS Mitchell, local hip hop artists.
R.A.R.E. Nation, a growing local hip hop music company, has partnered with Jasiri X and his company 1Hood Media to create a hip hop collective here in the city. The collective’s major goal is to revive and shift the culture of hip hop in Pittsburgh, and has been loosely referred to as a “Pittsburgh Renaissance” of hip hop and art. The city has seen a lot of rappers, but very little culture here, which is troubling for the genre’s future. The collective has recently received a grant from Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh, a joint project of the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Heinz Endowments, to organize several different types and sizes of hip hop events in the city during this year. Many of these events are focused on laying the foundation for initiating change: educating people about hip hop, its history and its culture.
To be considered on the level of a New York or Atlanta, for example, the focus must be on strengthening the hip hop culture until it is as strong, as respected and as understood as it is in New York or Atlanta. This hip hop collective aims to begin that process internally for Pittsburgh hip hop, as well as increase the awareness and interest of general music lovers in Pittsburgh’s hip hop culture. This is a great chance to learn about the local hip hop scene from those in it, meet some of Pittsburgh’s main hip hop talent, and get involved in the conversation yourself to help shape the future of Pittsburgh hip hop. R.A.R.E. Nation hopes to see everyone at this exciting and insightful event.