This year’s A3C Festival & Conference is already well underway in Atlanta and, per usual, it’s packed with performances and panels featuring industry heavyweights, including Steve Stoute and J. Prince.
The legendary Wu-Tang Clan is also celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, with events aimed at showcasing the depth of influence the group had on hip-hop and culture at large. Lil Wayne, the Diplomats, Royce Da 5’9 and DJ Premier (Prhyme), and Trina will also be performing at the festival this weekend.
We combed through the somewhat-intimidating (because it’s so massive) festival and conference schedule to see which events you should definitely hit up.
The Wu-Tang Clan’s 25th anniversary celebration of their classic debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) at this year’s A3C is big, with a string of events honoring the legendary group. There’s an album listening and book signing with U-God, which should be pretty juicy, since he’s been telling all the dirt that went on behind the scenes with the Wu, including shady contracts and money negotiations. There’ll also be a private art party and chess battle with RZA, Masta Killa and Cappadonna but you have to have a WuTang ATL press pass to enter. RZA will also be on hand for an in-depth conversation with NPR’s Rodney Carmichael. And of course, Wu will be performing live as the headliners of Saturday’s concert.
Memphis vets and the group that helped lay the foundation for southern hip-hop, Eightball & MJG will be screening their upcoming film, Comin Out Hard, which details their rise in the game from their start on Memphis’ underground rap scene, their first major release with Houston’s Suave House Records and their rise to become one of the most influential groups in Southern rap history. Push Films in association with Superwoman Squad, present the film, with Kim Jones directing.
Two of rap’s most vocal and politically active emcees, Trae Tha Truth and Talib Kweli will link to talk about art, social justice issues and how to effectively use your voice in the wake of one of the most tumultuous times in U.S. history. Talib Kweli will also hang around to perform at the festival on Saturday night.
The Diplomats (Cam’ron, Jim Jones and Juelz Santana) will connect on stage on Sunday night. Dipset helped usher in a new era of New York rap with their debut studio album, Diplomatic Immunity, in 2003. Over the years they’ve beefed and reunited, and their linking again now, despite pending drama with Juelz, who, in August, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and one count of carrying a firearm on an airplane. He is currently out on bond.