Urban Arts Festival Preview

This week, ASUCI and Hip Hop Congress are teaming up to bring back the trendy and creative Urban Arts Festival, whose first and only inception was three years ago in 2007. The festival, sponsored by Graffiti Beach Pop-Up Shops, is promoting “the expression of the underground hip-hop scene including open cyphers, dance and live art” and will span three days, featuring live cyphers, spoken word, DJs, breakdancing, up-and-coming artists and designers.

Thursday night will be the highlight of the event, featuring a performance from Zion I, Aloe Bacc feat. Maya Jupiter, emcee Speak and dance crews Kaba Modern and Bboys Anonymous. Simultaneously, graffiti artists, DJs and a live fashion show courtesy of UCI’s Fashion Interest group will be featured alongside the musical performances.

Students will have the chance to shop and browse a wide variety of hip and trendy vendors for all three days of the event (the vendors will be set up in Aldrich Park for Thursday). Some of the unique vendors making way to UCI include Andrew Sebastian, a designer that specializes in artsy customized pillows, and clothing from BloodBath, which features T-shirts, hoodies, caps and scarves for men. Other vendors include FOAM Magazine (an acronym for Fashion Ocean Art Music), a publication which defines its style as “girl meets beach” and Honest Beverages and P.O.P. Candy, which both boast products without high fructose corn syrup.

The headliner for Thursday night, Zion I, is a duo of MC and DJ Zumbi and AmpLive. Originally from Oakland, the hip-hop group has been making music from 2000. Their first studio album, “Mind Over Matter,” became one of the most critically acclaimed of the year. Zion I have continued to release five more studio albums since “Mind Over Matter,” touring around the country and garnering a fan base for AmpLive’s mix of live instrumentation and samples and Zumbi’s conscious rap lyrics. Aloe Bacc hails from Southern California and is a singer, rapper, instrumentalist and producer that first began making music in 1995. Aloe Bacc’s sound is a mix of digital R&B, Latin groove, and hip-hop. Maya Jupiter is a lady MC that has toured the UK and Japan in 2002. Originally from Australia, Jupiter’s first studio album “Today” was dedicated to “developing women in hip-hop music.” Besides creating music, Jupiter is committed to working with her community in Australia, helping disadvantaged youth through hip-hop.

The Urban Arts Festival is sure to be a melting pot of urban and hip-hop culture. Whether your niche is clothes, graffiti art, dance or rap, Urban Arts promises to cater to and exhibit every medium of contemporary hip-hop while featuring up-and-coming artists.
The vendor fair will be held Wednesday and Friday on Ring Mall from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Thursday in Aldrich Park from 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. Thursday night’s performances will be held in Aldrich Park starting at 6 p.m. All performances are free and open to the public.