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Giving Graffiti and Hip Hop a Place in Sac Town

10173705_10152315319683605_1244975394425389477_nNickel n’a Nail owner, Marichal Brown, and The Brickhouse Art Gallery curator, Barbara Range, are combining their talents to present THE ART OF HIP HOP FESTIVAL: CELEBRATING THE 5 ELEMENTS.  The art exhibition and Hip Hop festival will open with an art reception on Thursday, June 5th and run through Sunday, June 29th.

“Our goal is to showcase artist’s perceptions of the five elements of Hip Hop (Graffiti/Street Art, MC’ing, DJ’ing, B-Boy/B-Girl and Knowledge of Self) and shed light on the political, social and economic issues through their art medium,” Brown said. “It is a look back to what it was when it originated in the Bronx in the 1970s and what it is starting to return with new artists after years of mainstream commercialization and distortion.”

The festival will showcase visual art works, Hip Hop memorabilia, panel discussion and live performances that incorporate the bold, vibrant and outspoken nature of Hip Hop. “The art exhibit will include works in various mediums by approximately 40 artists including prominent ones such as Chris Herod (Dallas, TX.), Lonnie Ollivierre (Decatur, GA.), David Alexander (Sacramento, CA.), Mario Pena (Passaic, NJ) and Gerry GOS” Simpson (Elk Grove, CA) as well as many others from the Sacramento and Northern California area,” said Range. “It will also look at Graffiti as a form of artistic, political and social expression.”

Highlights of the month-long exhibition include:

  • Thursday, June 05 / 6PM – Opening Reception: Rap/Write Now Lecture with Dr. Eugene B. Redmond Poet, playwright, author, critic, editor, educator, and important figure in the 1960s black arts movement who will share his views on the important correlation between Rap lyrics and Poetry. Viewing of Visual Art, Meet and Greet of Artists;
  • Saturday, June 14 / Noon – A Hip Hop State of Emergency – Panel Discussion / Graffiti Showcase
    featuring Davey D (journalist, adjunct professor, Hip Hop historian, and syndicated talk show host on KPFA 94.1 in the Bay Area), Harley White Jr. (Musician, Performer, and Composer), Emmanuel ‘E-Moe’ Avery (Producer, Graphic Designer, Photographer, Studio Engineer, Videographer and Director) and others To Be Announced;
  • Monday, June 16 / 8:08PM – #TheMostOpenMicInTheCity  An experimental Guerrilla Arts presentation that showcases the best performance artist that Sacramento has to offer;
  • Friday, June 20 / 7PM – No Excuses Dance Battle League Championship;
  • Friday, June 27 – No Excuses Rap Battle League Championship;
  • Saturday, June 28 – Live Performance
    Lecture with a soon-to-be-identified Hip Hop legend and live performances by local Hip Hop artists; and
  • Sunday, June 29 – Closing Reception

Both Brown and Range said they’re looking to give Hip Hop a place to exist in Sacramento that doesn’t currently exist on a large scale because of the misconception of the majority of the community as to what it really is. They say they feel it is a misconception based on years of distortion caused by the commercial music industry’s seeming obsession with making it about sex and the gang culture.

This popular misconception in the Sacramento area was highlighted in a recent letter published in the Sacramento News & Review. Local artist, Shaad King, wrote in the March 24th edition, in response to the SN&R’s call the previous week to include hip hop in this summer’s park concerts, “I understand that certain hip-hop artists have given the culture a bad name due to bad language and bad behavior at shows. I have lived in the Sacramento area since 2009 and have submitted to play for certain events and contacted certain talent buyers to play at certain venues, and I have a feeling that because of the rapping in my group’s music, it has held us back from being welcome to different events and venues out here. It seems like every other market accepts hip-hop, but here in our own hometown we can’t get a break.”

The time has come for this non-acceptance to change. All Sacramento residents should mark their calenders to attend the upcoming exhibition.

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