Love, Peace, and Hip Hop

“Hip-hop was created in New York City to give a voice to an unrepresented group and helped unify culturally-diverse groups in the city,” said Darius Johnson, more commonly known as Fat Rat Da Czar; “We have a similar vision for our festival, and we hope it can work to give a unifying experience to generations, races, neighborhoods, families and whoever else wants to join in on the fun.” What started out as a conceptual seed in Fat Rat Da Czar’s mind over three years ago has branched out as a well-nurtured tree rooted in the center of Columbia, South Carolina. Columbia’s hip-hop family day is a free, family-friendly festival that seeks to uplift and support the community using hip-hop music as the channel to deliver a message of peace, love, and unity. ‘Culture’ can be defined as “The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively,” and ‘Community’ can be described as “A feeling
of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals”. These two ingredients form the basis of Love, Peace, and Hip Hop, and that is why this festival has become such a success. The third-annual Love, Peace, and Hip-Hop festival occurred on April 18, 2015 on Main Street from 11AM-5PM.

In honor of the third year anniversary, Love, Peace, and Hip-Hop had three, hypnotizing headliners: Nice and Smooth (Bronx, N.Y.), Monie Love (London, England) and Big Gipp (Atlanta, G.A.). Each with a half-hour set, the headliners dominated the stage from 3:30 to 5. Preceding these headliners were ten outstanding, opening acts who covered the stage from 11 to 3:30. These acts were: New Success Culture (Columbia, S.C.), Big Redd (Columbia, S.C.), Nesha The Voice (Bennettsville, S.C.), Carolina Dirty (Eutawville, S.C.), Paris Rose (Atlanta, G.A.), Dance South Company Dancers (Columbia, S.C.), BLVCK (Baltimore, M.D.), Jigg Nevamind (Batesburg-Leesville, S.C.), J11 (Columbia, S.C.) and the winners of HOT 103.9’s “Rock the Block” contest: Qwintis Sential and Love Mo.

All of the contributions and money earned from water and soda sales were donated to two local, non-profit organizations: the National Alliance for Mental Illness and Going Forward at Gable Oaks, (which is a current project of the Eau Claire Promise Zone). Sherard Duvall, one of the festival’s organizers, said, “We created this festival to help break down some of the stereotypes that surround the hip-hop culture, while also uplifting the community. Love, Peace, and Hip Hop is rooted in family, education and giving back to the community, and we work really hard to make sure this festival reflects those values.”

Our president, Barack Obama, said, “Yes, our greatness as a nation has depended on individual
initiative, but it has also depended on our sense of mutual regard for each other, of mutual responsibility. The idea that everybody has a stake in the country, that we’re all in it together and everybody’s got a shot at opportunity. Americans know this! We know that there are some things that we do better together.”

I firmly believe that Love, Peace, and Hip Hop is an ideal exemplification of these words. This festival is a well-needed source of community-gathering for Columbia. It is an idyllic model of notions that are needed to be put into application; so that a legacy of Columbia’s Hip Hop industry may be formed. I commend all corporations that have invested their time, faith, efforts,in the hip-hop movement of South Carolina. Supporters and sponsors for Love, Peace, and Hip Hop 2015 include: HOT 103.9-93.9, DTLR, Well Care Health Plans, Healthy Connection, Columbia Music Festival Association, and Nickelodeon’s Indie Grits Film Fest.

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