Words and Photos img_0618 By: Chantal Gainous

Student artists, producers, journalists, photographers and videographers from across the U.S. convened at the 2016 All Three Coasts Networking Hip Hop Conference and Music Festival, shortened simply to the A3C, this past week.

From Wednesday, Oct. 5 to Friday, Oct. 9, the multi-talented learned the art and hustle of the full hip hop industry amidst seminars and workshops. Concerts and showcases were also scheduled throughout the week at various locations in Atlanta’s young and eclectic Old Fourth Ward. Headliners, such as Rick Ross, Young Dolph, and legendary 90s rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony showed out at the event with performances at the ‘MyMixTapez’ and ‘Gears of War 4’ festival main stages, while underground rappers, like Florida A&M’s own collective Capital 6, performed at showcases at various clubs and venues within the Ward.

The Editor-in-Chief of XXL Magazine Vanessa Satten, singer/songwriter Ryan Leslie, rap mogul Percy “Master P” Miller, and several other gurus of the industry spoke –  some at multiple events –  during the three days of seminars.

Miller, creator of the No Limit label, had indispensable advice for beginners curious about advancing and growing their hustle. To Friday’s overflowing LouderMilk Conference Center Grand Ballroom, Miller recalled his brother, Corey Miller, who is more aptly known as ‘C-Murder’, making the poor choice of permanently labelling himself as a violent street thug.

“You have to look at the words you use in your business and your name. It may catch up to you later,” he warned.

The choice would later catch up in 2003, where C-Murder would be incarcerated for a number of murder charges. His brother spoke on his innocence with a heavy grain of salt.img_0629

“Do you know how hard it is to convince the courts you’re not a murderer when it’s in your name,” Miller continued.

Young attendees held onto Miller’s word, soaking up the advice and guidance that he provided in the hour long segment.

Afterward, Miller was more than happy to take photo-ops and further questions, and solidified the celebrity mentor tone for the conference.

Other industry executives echoed key advice about professionalism and rising to the top in their lectures.

“Go to work, get your work done and go home. Don’t be found in the clubs all the time with rappers and partyers. It doesn’t look good on your intentions in the industry,” Editor-in-Chief Satten said.

In between endless conferences and performances, creatives could be found in clusters throughout the city trading business cards, social media handles, and ideas. It was the perfect collaborative hub for proposed future projects coming into fruition.

Rattler Alumnus Teniko, the brainchild behind Sauce Clothing, found that time indispensible.

“I gained a lot of valuable information from influential people that I can use to make my business better. I made connections with people that I hope will blossom into meaningful, working relationships,” he said.

A3C originally began in 2005 to celebrate the cultural experience of hip hop through music, art, business and fellowship. Traditionally, the festival features hundreds of artists – this year, just over a thousand – stirring the perfect business meets pleasure concoction.

A3C provides a great platform for the industry to cultivate new talent. It is a top notch win-win situation for those already involved in the hip hop world and those who are just taking their first baby steps in their professional career.

  • |