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Promoting Peace Through Hip Hop w/Matthew Hensley

We Are Hip Hop Festival is our most exciting summer festival curated by Chicago youth, striving for peace, anti-violence and conscious Hip Hop awareness. This month we’re highlighting Matthew Hensley, youth coordinator, of the We Are Hip Hop Festival. Here is what he has to say about this year’s festival.

What makes the We Are Hip Hop Festival so unique in Chicago?

What makes this festival so unique is that we are an organization that strives to promote peace and unity through the wonderful sound of Hip Hop.  This festival is different because it is organized by youth from around the Chicago area. Many other Hip Hop festivals are organized by people who have experience in doing this kind of work, but this festival gives youth the opportunity to learn how to organize an event for people to enjoy.

What are some misconceptions people have about Hip Hop?

Misconceptions that have been said about Hip Hop is that it mainly focuses upon drugs, women, money, vulgarity, etc. It has also been criticized as violent and rambunctious.

Who are some of the artists we can expect to see lined up at this year’s festival?

Some of the artist’s names that are expected are, Psalm One, Jam One, DJ Such N Such, Visual, and Tommy Exx.

How are these artists selected?

The artists are selected based off of the message they try to implement to the audience. We look for the true meaning of Hip Hop within their music. 

What are three things about the festival that you are excited about?

I am excited about how many people will show up to come see the amazing performances that these artists have to offer. I also cannot wait to see the extremely talented graffiti artists participating in the annual graffiti battle that will take place during the event. Last but not least, I am anxious to see the Grand Finale with Red Moon. It includes some really great artists known around Chicago, fire works, and a selected group of people who attend the Festival will be able to participate in the Grand Finale.

How is working on the We Are Hip Hop Festival impacting you?

The We Are Hip Hop Festival is impacting me in a way I didn't really expect. It has given me more knowledge that I can take to be successful in my future career. I have gained more event planning skills than I could've imagined and learned how to plan events within the community and that music itself can really bring people together.

Join us for the We Are Hip Hop Festival at Dvorak Park on August 10th 2013 from 1pm-6pm!

Cultural Event, Interview, Promotion