By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The City of Oklahoma City has officially declared November as Hip Hop History Month. To celebrate, the second annual Oklahoma Hip Hop Festival will be held Saturday, November 5, from 11 a.m. to midnight at The Criterion, 500 E. Sheridan Avenue.
The all-day event will feature performances, film screenings, and a panel discussion.
In addition, there will be a master class on “Indie Artist Essentials” taught by Joshua Fisher, a leader in the marketing and management of music and art.
Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for students. VIP all access tickets are $50 and include food along with an artist meet and greet.
Festival proceeds will benefit the Elemental Hip Hop After School Program.
The festival will celebrate all aspects of hip hop, highlighting various musical genres that influenced the birth of hip hop.
The Oklahoma Hip Hop Festival was created as an extension of Elemental Hip Hop, a creative youth after school and summer development program founded by Oklahoma City rapper and hip hop ambassador Gregory Jerome in 2011.
The program serves hundreds of children in the Oklahoma City metro area, teaching life and social skills through the four or more elements of hip hop – MCing (oral), DJing (aural), BBoying (physical), graffiti art (visual) and knowledge.
“Elemental Hip Hop is a program designed to preserve the hip hop culture, while empowering the youth through creative arts and emphasizing soft and life skills,” Jerome said.
According to Jerome, the Oklahoma Hip Hop Festival is a platform for state, regional, and international emerging artists to create a new vibrant festival culture that will educate as well as enhance social change.
“Program participants are invited to perform during the festival, placing them on the same stage as emerging and well-known hip hop artists,” Jerome explained. “This exchange between the Festival and Elemental Hip Hop leads to mentorship and inspiration for students who need it most.”
The Oklahoma Hip Hop Festival was created in 2015 to raise awareness of the state’s music scene and to demonstrate the energy of a music style born in the late twentieth century that has now permeated popular culture worldwide.
Festival performers will include Brandee (R&B/Soul, Tulsa), LINCKA (Latin, OKC), Jeremy Thomas (Jazz, OKC), Tao Hero (Hip Hop, Tulsa), Scott AF (Electronic R&B, OKC), JSUPER (Hip Hop, St. Louis), Dre B (Christian Hip Hop, OKC) and Chief Peace (Hip Hop, OKC).
A festival Kick-Off Party will be held Tuesday, November 1, from 6-9 p.m., at Individual Artists of Oklahoma gallery, 706 W. Sheridan Ave, in downtown Oklahoma City.
The gallery will feature an exhibition of visual and performance artists that represent Oklahoma City’s hip hop community, curated by Zulu Nation member Randall Barnes.
This pre-festival event is also a meet-and-greet opportunity for fans, festival performers, and the public. Tickets are $15 for general admission or $30 for VIP access.
The Oklahoma Hip Hop Festival is a movement to educate, promote diversity, and encourage community involvement within the vibrant and growing art form thriving within the state.
The gallery show will also serve as a fundraiser for the Elemental Hip Hop Program.
“We would like to say thank you to our partners the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, IAO Gallery, and our current sponsors Downtown OKC, Inc’ Keep It Local OK; Okahoma Film + Music Offce, and Red Bull for making dreams come true,” said Jerome. “ And a special thank you to The Criterion, a. true statement of community innovation. #OKHHFest
For additional information regarding the Elemental Hip Hop Program, or to bring it to your local school, visit www.TheGregoryJerome.com.