Hip Hop Summit showcases Pittsburgh emcees, DJs, street artists, and more | Pittsburgh City Paper

Hip Hop Summit showcases Pittsburgh emcees, DJs, street artists, and more

click to enlarge A DJ reaches over a table as multicolored lights shine behind him.
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
DJ Nate Da Barber
When it comes to the Pittsburgh music scene, hip hop often gets overlooked in favor of indie or classic rock. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is looking to change that with the first-ever Hip Hop Summit, a full day of activities described as celebrating the four elements of the genre - the Emcee, the DJ, Graffiti, and Breaking.

Taking place Sat., Dec. 3 at the Trust Arts Education Center, the Summit will include five free community workshops and events led by local musicians and artists. The day will conclude with a ticketed Emcee & DJ Showcase featuring DJs Nate da Barber, Inception, and Yamez, and a performance by 1Hood Media artists Saïd, Treble NLS, JM the Poet, SpeciàlK, and DJ QRX.

A press release says the event came together through a partnership with Rivers of Steel, which organizes programming at the repurposed Carrie Blast Furnaces, and 1Hood Media, a Pittsburgh group working to promote activism through the arts.

Terri Bell, vice president of the Trust's strategic partnerships and community engagement, believes that the organization's past work, including the monthly Downtown Gallery Crawl, allowed them to coordinate the Summit.

“Curating the Gallery Crawls in the Cultural District has given me the opportunity to build connections with some fantastic local artists in the Hip Hop space and beyond,'' says Bell. “It’s such a great privilege to be able to extend that outreach for this event.”

In addition to the music, guests can participate in a Spray and Style Write Workshop and Graffiti Gallery Tour led by local artists Max Gonzales and Shane Pilster. The tour will feature new work by Juliandra Jones, Dejouir Brown, Jerome Charles, Ashley Hodder, and KEMIST ONE, as well as Gonzales and Pilster. 
click to enlarge A group of graffiti artists pose in front of a city street scape.
Photo: Seth Culp-Ressler
Graffiti Gallery Tour by Max Gonzales and Shane Pilster
The activities continue with an All-Styles Dance Battle and a Basics of Popping & Animation workshop by Mario Quinn Lyles of the Garfield-based Level Up Studios.

Film fans can also attend a screening of Wild Style at the Harris Theater. Regarded as the "first hip hop motion picture," the 1983 film features Fab Five Freddy, Lee Quinones, Lady Pink, the Rock Steady Crew, The Cold Crush Brothers, Queen Lisa Lee of Zulu Nation, and Grandmaster Flash, and stars New York graffiti artist "Lee" George Quinones.

Advanced registration is required for all community workshops and events.

The Summit also serves as a kick-off to the trust’s year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop in 2023. While full details on the celebration have yet to be announced, the trust website says it will unfold through "signature series, festivals, and special events."

“We are so excited to be able to shine a light on the important influence Hip Hop has had on the city of Pittsburgh and beyond," says Randal Miller, director of special projects at the Trust. "We are also elated to be partnering with 1Hood Media in bringing these talented local artists to the forefront”.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Hip Hop Summit. 2:30-10:30 p.m. Trust Arts Education Center. 805-807 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Free. $5 for Emcee & DJ Showcase. Registration required. trustarts.org