Despite rain, heavy winds, and horrible conditions, the Hip Hop Afternoon celebration, one of the many concerts which are a part of the FOTA festival, took place on Sunday, May 11. The concert was sponsored and run by The University of Hip Hop, an RSO dedicated to promoting the musical genre on campus.
Although the event was moved indoors due to inclement weather, the events, which included live graffiti tagging, still went forward, though only with a modest crowd. Poor advertising and the Mother's Day holiday were other reasons why the event was less popular than expected.
The concert featured predominant rap and break-dance artists from all over Chicago. The first group to perform, The Knomads, is a rap ensemble that has gained fame in the underground hip-hop scene. The next performance was a group of break-dancers called Stick and Move. They awed the crowd with difficult and smooth moves as they danced to the various beats provided by several different DJs.
The third group to perform was another infamous local Chicago rap group called Stony Island. They were followed by the highlight of the evening, the dominant break-dancers of the Chicago metro area, Brickheadz. The group has won numerous hip-hop awards all over the city and brought some excitement to the end of the program.
Even though the afternoon ended early, the organizers felt that it was a successful event. "Considering this is only our second year participating in FOTA, I think it went extremely well," said Magda Gross, a member of The University of Hip Hop who organized the event. This was the first year that the group has participated in FOTA as an RSO, and only the second year in which hip-hop music has had a dominant presence in the FOTA schedule. Those who did attend were treated to a relaxing evening of melodic beats, amazing dancers, and talented graffiti artists who brought a culture to the college campus that is all too rarely seen.