Pittsburgh Hip-Hop Artists Take The Stage for Beats + Bars
June 7, 2017
Pittsburgh, PA: city of bridges, champions, and arts. Each year, Pittsburgh's Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival (TRAF) brings people together to celebrate performance and visual arts. The 58th annual Festival, from June 2-11, at Point State Park, Gateway Center, and throughout the Cultural District, features a performance particularly exciting for hip-hop fans; one night will be entirely dedicated to local Pittsburgh hip-hop.
"Beats + Bars," a showcase of Pittsburgh's hip-hop talent on Thursday, June 8, begins at 7:00p.m. at Dollar Bank Main Stage at Point State Park, with acts from multiple Pittsburgh performers.
Nicknamed the "mom" of the group, Dr. HollyHood calls the Pittsburgh hip-hop scene "vibrant and ever-growing." She says she wants to "bring together people who love hip-hop, and people who don't know much about hip-hop."
TRAF offers a perfect platform for diverse interests, which Dr. HollyHood says will provide a great sample of Pittsburgh's unique sound. "These guys aren't just rappers - they're artists, and audiences will see that."
Hubbs considers Beats + Bars a "major deal" on the bill for one of the festival's most popular nights. "This represents the growth, acceptance and promotion of [hip-hop] culture, which has always been underrepresented in this demographic."
Whether the mosaic of dynamic lyricism and complex layers in Billy Pilgrim's 2015 album big empty things. or Choo Jackson's dauntless, grungy 2016 album Choo, Where You Goin'?, or Hubb's assertive message of love in his recently released album Black Privilege, the distinct sounds offer diversity within the genre.
"There will be something for old hip-hop fans, new hip-hop fans, everybody. This will be an inclusive experience for everyone," says Dr. HollyHood. Billy Pilgrim, who will leave for a European tour just after Beats + Bars, has high praise for the other Beats + Bars performers. "I'm looking forward to it, man. Pittsburgh hip-hop is what it is. Steel sharpens steel, yanno?"
Author note: Jacob Williamson-Rea, a recent University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown graduate, enjoys writing about environmental sciences, music, and Nature. He begins his graduate studies in the Johns Hopkins Science Writing Master's program this fall. He also works as an Educator at the Carnegie Natural History Museum's Powdermill Nature Reserve.