This FREE Family-Friendly Festival will celebrate Black History Month in a unique and authentic way.
On Saturday, February 19, 2022, join Friends of James Weldon Johnson Park for JWJ’s Hip Hop Festival: Lifting Duval’s Legendary Voices - a celebration to honor Black History Month in a unique and authentic way, by teaching the next generation the (core) pillars of Hip Hop:
Emceeing/Lyricism | DJing/Turntablism | Breakdance | Graffiti | Knowledge
JWJ’s Hip Hop Festival will be a platform to educate, illuminate, and acknowledge ALL the elements that encompass Hip Hop in our city – past, present, and future.
Funding for this event is provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant allows noted Anthropologist, Dr. Melissa Hargrove to monitor a panel discussion alongside members of Duval’s Hip Hop Community.
The festival will feature performances by some of Jacksonville's best Emcees, Lyricists, and Producers including King of Hearts, Mas Appeal, Simple Complexity, King Travelight, and L.O.V.E. Culture; DJ’s including Dr. Doom, Koowah, EnerJi, Mas Appeal, and Mr. Al Pete; Hip Hop Dancers from In The Midst, UNF Dance Crew, Freestyle Expressions, Shake Culture Dance and more; Graffiti Artists Scotty Briggs, Grace Bio, Werms Two, and Bash; interactive participation of Hip Hop Dance and Community Art with kids of all ages; food trucks; and much more to highlight and celebrate the many aspects of Hip Hop Culture.
To curate the festival, Liz McCoy, Executive Director of Friends of James Weldon Johnson Park assembled a team of Jacksonville Hip Hop experts in each of the disciplines: Mr. Al Pete, of Mr. Peterson’s Neighborhood, Che of L.O.V.E Culture, Mas Appeal, Rochelle Underdue of In the Midst Dance, and DJ Enerji.
“The purpose of the festival is so that Jacksonville’s Hip Hop Culture is celebrated in a comprehensive and inclusive way, “ said McCoy. “This revolutionary art form was born in the streets and is known for its resiliency and endurance. It has no formal school, so we want to bring it back to the streets and share the history, lifestyle and art form with new generations.”
The festival will be free to attend and family friendly and will take place from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, February 19. For more information visit www.JamesWeldonJohnsonPark.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
ABOUT DR. MELISSA HARGROVE: Dr. Melissa Hargrove is a cultural anthropologist specializing in the political economy of race and racism across the broader African Diaspora. Her teaching, research, and publications focus on the ways in which communities of color develop and sustain cultures of resistance in the 21st century. More specifically, Dr. Hargrove has expertise in two areas of ethnographic and scholarly inquiry: Gullah/Geechee culture of the southeastern coastal U.S. and underground hiphop culture in Jacksonville, FL. In 2013, Dr. Hargrove served as interlocutor between the Florida Folklife Program, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State and the Jacksonville hiphop community, to recognize foundational members of the hiphop community and their ongoing contributions to the city. She is currently on the anthropology faculty at American University in Washington, D.C. and has taught at The University of Tennessee, Miami University of Ohio, and The University of North Florida. She is currently writing a book titled Duvalogy: 21st Century Lessons From the Duval Hiphop Underground, chronicling six years of engaged research and collaboration.
ABOUT MR. AL PETE: Mr. Al Pete is a Hip Hop musician, podcaster, journalist, and the founder of Mister Peterson’s Neighborhood/The MPN Network. Created in 2012, MPN reached instant success with themed ‘warehouse’ parties and the birth of two sub brands: Fly Socks and Tees and The Groove Suite, which was created in 2014. While hosting multiple events, The Groove Suite Podcast was formed to showcase the Neo Soul, Progressive, and other related genres’ music and artists from Jacksonville, Florida and around the United States. In August of 2016, Pete began working with the internet radio station The Sound of Duval by hosting his online radio mix show ‘Cubicle Music Mondays.’ Wanting to expand into the network realm, in January of 2020, Pete created The MPN Network, along with The Neighborhood Podcast Network, which hosts a range of podcasts from Jacksonville, Florida. The network is continuously being innovative and working to tell more stories of various creators of music, the arts, influencers and their purpose, through collective mediums.
ABOUT RAQUEL "CHE" UNDERDUE: Lyricist, writer, vocalist, activist - Che (pronounced CHEE) is no stranger to the word “Expressionism”. She considers herself an expressionist, which, by definition is a painter, writer, or composer who is an exponent of expressionism, seeking to express through their work the inner world of emotion rather than external reality. Che’s cornerstone is most experienced through live performance, often memorable and heartfelt by audiences all over. Che lives and breathes through the lifeline of creativity. From California to New York, Che has had the pleasure of collaborating and performing with many great artists, which is vital to the life of a living canvas. She is the leading lady and ⅕ of L.O.V.E. Culture, an eclectic Hip-Hop Collective out of Jacksonville, and ½ of experimental RnB duo, FRANKIE with Rob Mari. It is with these many identities she continues to evolve and reinvent herself - there is simply no box, only a universe that she has made her playground.
ABOUT MIGUEL "MAS APPEAL" ALMEIDA: Mas Appeal has been active in the Jacksonville scene since 2003 creating events and digital artistry to include The Lyricist Hour Podcast, Hip Hop and Hookah, The Cloud Sessions Podcast, Jax Bashment, Beats Brunch and Bubbly, Simple Complexity and ultimately DJ Mas Appeal. Mas started DJing professionally in 2016 and has residencies at Birdies, Rain Dogs, and Headroom. Mas has a passion for music and providing safe spaces for people to let loose, dance and be themselves.
ABOUT ROCHELLE UNDERDUE: Rochelle Underdue has over 14 years of natural and trained dance experience. With a diverse dance background, she is fluent in numerous dance styles including, Hip Hop, Vogue, Whacking, House, basic breaking, popping, and Modern Fusion. Dance led her to explore many opportunities and positions including alumni student and manager of danceWorks FSCJ; dance director for the city of Duarte California; In The Midst dance program coordinator and instructor for Timuquana country club; guest artist for DMAB (Don't Miss A Beat) and Lavilla School of the Arts. She serves as Hip Hop Ambassador for the U.S Department Exchange; a Douglas Anderson School of the Arts Dance Educator; the Cathedral Arts Project Hip Hop Instructor; and a Jacksonville Community Dance Figure. Her community dance platform - In the Midst - was created with the mission to grow the community dance space by providing knowledge, experience, and foundation for the next generation of dancers to come.
ABOUT ENERJI: EnerJi brings her own special brand of energy to every project or collective she is a part of. With over 15 years of experience as an Independent Artist, her skills are wide ranging. Among her many talents, she is a DJ and has been spinning professionally for over three years. Passionate about the arts in Jacksonville, she considers herself to be an advocate not simply for "the arts" but for ARTISTS:
“Jacksonville has come a very long way in the arts since I’ve lived here. There was a time when I strongly believed that to be a successful Artist in this city, you first had to leave, grow elsewhere, and then maybe decide to return. I no longer feel this way. Jacksonville is brimming with talent, skill, and an artistry that is unique to us. I am committed to doing what I can to help foster that creativity here so that it can grow and flourish so the world can see it. Every major city is defined by its art scene - Jacksonville is no different. It’s up to US, Artists, to make it happen. And we will. By any means necessary.”
ABOUT FRIENDS OF JAMES WELDON JOHNSON PARK: Friends of James Weldon Johnson Park is a nonprofit organization founded in 2014 and contracted with the City of Jacksonville to revitalize the city’s first and most historic public park. James Weldon Johnson Park is located in the heart of downtown Jacksonville, adjacent to City Hall, the main branch of the Jacksonville Public Library, and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Our mission is to transform James Weldon Johnson Park into a modern, urban space that engages diverse communities and restores vitality to our city’s public square. We accomplish this by adding and maintaining landscaping and amenities and providing daily programming. Our park ambassadors and security welcome and share information with our guests while ensuring that James Weldon Johnson Park is clean and safe. Our programming is informed and supported by a variety of community partnerships.
Discover more at: www.JamesWeldonJohnsonPark.org and on our James Weldon Johnson Park social feeds.