By Buddha Blaze Pictures by Eli Jacob Fantuazzi and Seth Markle
Every April, the university students of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut prepare themselves for a weekend b-boying, graffiti, MCing, Djing at the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival www.trinityhiphop.com. Supported by Nomadic Wax, http://nomadicwax.com this event that brings together hip-hop artists, activists, practitioners, community leaders and industry peers together to showcase their work, network and sell their wares while engaging with the student community. Hartford being a small town in Connecticut benefits from the community engagement that this gathering enables it annually.
Students at Trinity International Hip Hop Festival
Trinity International Hip Hop Festival is a free event and embraces artists from many different backgrounds and cultures. Hip hop as an effective tool of communication can bring about cultural cohesiveness especially in a college environment. It is the biggest college hip hop festival in the United States and a must attend. Previously the festival has brought to the college premises big hip hop names such as KRS 1, Knaan, Blitz the Ambassador, Bamboo and many other global artists. This spring on 1st and 2nd of April the special guest was the New York based fierce female tongue twister – Jean Grae http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9gE4ybCp_c
WAPI Tanzania Graffiti Writer
Trinity International Hip Hop Festival Breakdance battle
Buddha Blaze networking with Def Jam Records rep Rab Bakari
The week had a myriad of activities: Role of Women in Hip-Hop by Anna Oravcova of Czech Republic, Middle East since 1517 by Syrian rapper Omar Offendum, Speech ‘Beats, Rhymes & Life: Hip Hop as a Catalyst for Change and Development’ by T. Tomas Alvarez, B-boy battle by Neguin (Brazil, vs El Nino (Dominican Rep), Bionic Man of Philippines, vs. Fever 257. The Mill graffiti workshop by Mejah Mbuya of WAPI, Tanzania, discussion: ‘Hip Hop and a New Global Horizon’ with Prof. Vijay Prashad, and Rosa Clemente. Film Screening of Ugandan break dance film Bouncing Cats and Ghanaian Film, Hiplife in Ghana with director Eli Jacobs Fantauzzi.
Jean Grae Rocking it
The main concert brought to close of the festival on Saturday evening was at the Vernon Social Hall. We were entertained by the lyrically romantic Profetas from Columbia, Syrian rapper Omar Offendum, Amkoullel who brought Mali to Connecticut, Brazilian Emicida, Eekwol from Canada and the feisty Jean Grae who came on stage dressed like a deranged private high school girl in search attention and up to no good. Jean Greasy as Grae usually prefers to be called is a beast on that mic and professional at most she killed her set in an hour and half and the festival was a wrap. All in all we had a great festival this year and can wait to see who will be on next years line up.