Queens Hip Hop Festival will feature performances, film screening, studio tour and more

Photo via Instagram/@lejeunefrere

One Astoria resident is hoping to highlight the flourishing hip hop scene in the borough with the second annual Queens Hip Hop Festival.

Ashley Dean organized the first festival last September and after positive feedback from artists and local businesses, she and her team of 10 are back for round two. From Sept. 22 through Sept. 24 Queens residents will be treated to performances by local artists, a film screening and hip hop yoga.

Dean said organizers have added a stronger community component to the festival and have invited local businesses and organizations to promote their causes and products. Though Dean has friends in the Queens hip hop community, she allowed artists from across the borough to perform sets in July in order to win a spot on the festival.

“We tried to accurately represent the whole neighborhood,” she said.

The artists are from neighborhoods such as Corona, Flushing, Jamaica and the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City.

The opening reception will take place at the Queens Museum from 7 to 10 p.m. DJ Fatfingaz will provide the music and COFFEED will provide refreshments.

On Sept. 23, the Queens of Queens Art Exhibit at La Vecina Arepas at 30-66 Steinway St. will feature artwork that honors female MC’s from the borough. The proceeds from art sales will benefit Hurricane Harvey Victims.

Right after the exhibit, attendees can head over to the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria at 4 p.m. to watch a screening of “Set It Off,” a 1996 movie about four women who rob a bank in Los Angeles. Jada Pinkett Smith, Queens Latifah, Vivica Fox and Kimberly Elise star in the movie and tickets are $12.

Aloha NYC, located at 37-02 Astoria Blvd., will host a concert featuring Meyhem Lauren, Drippin Gold, Bankskee, AG Flow, Penny Shaw, Why Not Show Love and Genique. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $20.

Queens-based yoga instructor Jane Wong will host a hip hop yoga class at 34-27 Steinway St., a salsa studio.  On Sept. 24 at noon Wong will play only hip hop from Queens artists and tickets are $20.

If you’re a student of hip hop, the last event will include a history lesson in addition to performances by local artists. “Paying Homage to our Legends:” will take place at Signature Soundz Studio at 90-10 Merrick Blvd, Suite 24 in Jamaica from 6 to 10 p.m.

The studio was founded by Jam Master Jay and hip hop historian and journalist Shaheem Reid will talk about the studio’s history. China Mac, Official JL, R Cin White, 821 Music, Delastax, Homey Hill and ONE PPL will perform and a DJ tribute to the late JMJ, Chinx, Prodigy and Phife Dawg will take place.

In the future, Dean hopes to expand the festival to include more businesses.

“We definitely want to partner with more business and organizations,” she said. “We also want to add an educational component – getting schools to teach curriculum and after school programs because some do that in other boroughs.”

Dean graduated with a degree in music business from SUNY Oneonta and wants to provide kids and future artists with classes like intro to music industry.

For more information on the festival or to purchase tickets, visit the festival’s website.

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