All Three Coasts came together in Atlanta for the three-day hip-hop festival, A3C. A group of students from the FAMU Music Entertainment and Industries Student Association (M.E.I.S.A.) traveled to the event seeking to further their knowledge of the music industry as well as build their contacts via networking.
Carissa Redmon, a junior engineering student and rapper from Tallahassee recalls the event.
“I love that everyone was so willing to share their knowledge with strangers,” Redmon said. “My favorite part was interacting with the artists. Since the event, I have been sending out music to producers and blogs. I’ve actually received feedback from some of them. I can definitely see myself performing on the A3C stage in the future.”
The 8th Annual A3C Festival featured over 300 artists and brought in over 15,000 fans from across the world.
Each coast had an opportunity to represent their sound during the many performances that took place over the weekend. Some of the artists that performed were Twista, Nipsey Hussle, Freeway, Yelawolf, Skyzoo, and Tallahassee’s Junious “Honors English”.
English is a History professor at Florida A&M, and Tallahassee Community College.
“A3C gave me the opportunity to build on the relationships that I already had, as well the chance to connect with the fans that are growing with me,” English said. “I really appreciate my fans, especially the ones who got out of their classes and drove up from Tallahassee to see me perform.”
The festivities were not limited to performances. The event also featured rap and beat battles, panel discussions, hip-hop culture films, break dancing competitions and food. There were over 50 vendors who contributed to the attendees’ desire to fill their stomachs, as well as their trunks full of merchandise. Vendors offered everything from t-shirts to customized sneakers to audio equipment. New Era, BET, Sony Entertainment, and Guitar Center were among the many companies that partnered with the festival.
According to Illmind, a highly respected producer from New Jersey, hip-hop is still in its infant stages and still has room to grow.
“It has the power to unite people,” Illmind said. Critically acclaimed rapper Skyzoo concurred.
“That’s what this event is about,” Skyzoo said. “I love being a part of this event because it’s a good representation of hip hop across the map.”
A3C is an event where fans and upcoming artists are provided direct access to tastemakers and legends in the industry. It is not uncommon that one would cross paths with someone who was in a music video.
“I never want to remove myself from the people,” said 9th Wonder, a Grammy-award winning producer. “I urge anyone who is looking to make music a career comes to A3C before it turns into not being about the artist anymore.” When asked about hosting a seminar at FAMU, 9th Wonder responded, “Tell Dr. Clemons to get me down there.”
With so many events dedicated to the promotion and empowerment of the artist, there is no secret as to why thousands flock to the festival every year. Building contact lists and networking was on the minds’ of many of the attendees, and the panel discussions placed people in the position to take their career to the next level.
“You’re never too old to be a student of the game. Even when you leave college, there is still more to learn,” said Kevin Shine, the Grammy-award winning head A&R for Arrow Records/Universal.
FAMU, If you missed festival this year, don’t fret, there’s always next year. As the A3C hosts would say, “We do this for you, but we couldn’t do it without you.”