Leave it to Russell Simmons to one-up the National Basketball Association.
Although a host of rappers are planning to participate in the multitude of
festivities surrounding the NBA’s All-Star game next month in Atlanta, it’s
looking like that event won’t be the biggest wordsmith-attended fiesta in the
ATL this year.
On Tuesday (January 21), Simmons announced plans for not only his second national Hip-Hop
Summit, but for the first Urban Hip-Hop Music Festival, with both scheduled
to take place in Atlanta.
The festival is slated to commence on April 12 at Turner Field, with a second
concert to follow the day after at the same venue. Being called the
’Woodstock of hip-hop,” Simmons promises a two-day extravaganza featuring a
who’s who of rappers, with a portion of the proceeds from the shows to go to
“Just as music played an important role in the changing of our culture after
the original Woodstock, we are again at a turning point where music —
specifically hip-hop — will have a role in shaping our future,” Simmons
said in a statement. “It’s time to take that responsibility seriously.”
A day before the event kicks off, Simmons is also planning to have a wide
array of hip-hop community insiders, from artists to label executives,
participate in a Hip-Hop Summit at Morehouse College, where they will address
issues facing the music industry.
While no participants have been named, Simmons is close to finalizing all the
details and securing confirmations, according to his spokesperson.