The A3C festival has been taking place in Atlanta since 2004. According to A3Cfestival.com “2012 marked the largest and most extensive A3C to date with 20,000+ attendees from more than 45 different US states.” The festival has included such big names as Raekwon, Slum Villiage, and Cyhi the Prince. At last year’s festival quite a few of this year’s XXL freshman performed including Ab Soul, Action Bronson, Dizzy Wright, Kirko Bangz and Trinidad James.
Herbert Anthony Stevens also known as Ab-Soul is best known for being one quarter of the black hippy movement. Most recently he signed to infamous Interscope records. Born in 1987 in Carson, CA, at 12 he wrote his first rhyme to Twista’s “Emotions” but did not pursue a career in rap until after he graduated high school. In 2002 he recorded his first song and in 2005 signed a recording contract with street beat entertainment. Two years later he met and signed with the head of Top Dawg Entertainment, and in 2009 dropped his first mixtape “Longterm”. During that same year, the black hippy movement was formed by Ab Soul, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and School Boy Q, all artists signed to the same label. In 2010 the follow up mixtape “Longterm 2” was released and the year after that his first independent album “Longterm Mentality” was released and peaked at #73 on the Itunes hip hop and R&B charts. Last year along with performing at the A3C festival, the albums “Habits and Contradictions” was released and debuted at #83 on the billboard charts and this year he was acknowledged as one of the XXL freshman class.
The actor turned rapper Arian Asllani, better known as Action Bronson got his start as a gourmet chef in New York City which eventually led to his own online cooking show called “Action in the Kitchen”. With a rap style similar to GhostFace Killah he was able to acquire plenty of fans quickly. He even collaborated with Ghostface and Termanology on a song in 2011. When asked about the comparison to the legendary rapper, he stated, “Yeah, I mean at the end of the day, it’s all good because Ghostface Killah is one of the best rappers alive, so if I sound similar to the best rapper alive then that’s fine. To me, there is no comparison; he is a legend and I am a newcomer.”
When it comes to rapper La’Reonte Wright, better known as Dizzy Wright some say he was born to rap. With an uncle in the 90’s hip hop group Bone Thugs and a mother who was a concert promoter it was easy for the artist to get into the game at a young age. At eight he started a group of his own with his brother and friend called “Da Future”. Due to his connections within the industry it allowed him such opportunities like reporting on major awards shows such as the BET awards even snagging an interview with legendary R&B group Boys II Men. Through his exposure to various aspects of the music industry he managed to learn what was best for his career and decided that he wanted to steer clear of major labels and involve himself within independent labels. In 2010 after moving to Las Vegas he entered the “Rip the Mic” competition and won catching the eye of Funk Volume record labels. After seeing his talent, passion, stage presence, and natural flow Funk Volume Label signed him right away. In 2012 on the honorary “4/20” (the date celebrated by many marijuana smokers) Dizzy released his debut album “Smoked out Conversations”.
Warner Brother’s artist, Kirk Jerel Randle or Kirko Bangz as he better known has been putting in work since the tender age of fifteen. He was born and raised in Houston Texas in a single parent house hold and used his mother’s pain and struggles as the inspiration for his music. He attended Northshore High School and furthered his education at Prairie View A&M University where he majored in communications and began to really focus on his music career. In 2009 Bangz released his first mixtape “ Procrastination Kills” which was geared towards his fellow class mates. The most well known song off of the mixtape “Drank in my Cup” was not released until 2011 though. The single reached #28 on the Billboard hot 100 chart and #1 on the Heatseekers song chart. Since then the song has acquired many remixes and freestyles by the likes of Tyga, 2 Chainz, J.Cole, Bow Wow, Chamillionaire, and Kid Ink. Since then he has released five other mixtapes , performed on the A3C stage, become a XXL freshman and is set to release his debut album soon.
Def Jam recording star Trinidad James is a recent sensation hailing from Atlanta, GA although originally born in Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago. He began rapping in 2011 which is when he released his single “All Gold Everything” which charted on Billboard’s top 100. In July of of 2012 James released his debut mixtape “Don’t Be S.A.F.E”. Around the same time he re-leased the single, which reached mainstream success thanks to YouTube. That same year James performed during the A3C festival in his hometown of Atlanta. Most recently he signed a joint venture with Def Jam for two million dollars as well as becoming CEO of his own label, Gold Gang Records.
After performing at the annual A3C festival it seems as though their individual careers began to move fast and furiously. It is no secret A3C is now one of the largest hip hop festivals in the United States and thousands travel to attend the event in Atlanta Georgia each and every year. Did A3C contribute to the success each of these artists is experiencing? We’d sure like to think so.
By: Brittnye Webb-Earl and Jessica Murray