FUSICOLOGY: What’s the A3C all about?

BRIAN KNOTT: A3C was born 4 years ago to fill a void in the Southeastern United States and Atlanta specifically where there is a critical under representation of anything beyond what would be considered “Mainstream Southern Rap” music. We have consistently grown each year to become one of the largest music events in the SE pulling artists from all over the country that represent both the roots and future of hip hop music. Over the years the event has grown to become a multi-faceted (break dancing, producer battles, fashion show) representation of what is going on in hip hop culture and music outside of what the average person might see if they were only listening to what commercial radio or television was presenting them.

How is it different from other Hip Hop festivals?

We try and provide a balance to hip hop music, we showcase artists like Atlanta’s own B.o.B (signed to Atlantic) who is starting to experience some mainstream success directly alongside artists like Del The Funkee Homosapien and Jeru Tha Damaja who have been consistently putting out music without mainstream support for years. We are an event where someone can see an artist like Clipse who has had major label success next to an artist like Wale who was recently on the cover of URB magazine and then also check out artists like Aceyalone or Akrobatik that have been making their bones by grinding out album after album, tour stop after tour stop. The one line that combines all of our music is that it is progressive and not what you are hearing on the radio right now. We like to think that we showcase what’s next. We do it all in an environment that also features the latest in fashion, street dance and other culture.

What’s in the works for A3C 08?

We have been blessed this year to enlist the support of people like MySpace, Red Bull, HipHopDx.com, and Urb to bring some of the most exciting new artists in the country to Atlanta for the weekend. Performances from Little Brother, Clipse, Jeru tha Damaja, Wale, Aceyalone, Guilty Simpson, and a ton more. We have a producer battle being put on by our friends over at iStandard, a Rawkus records showcase, a 2 on two break-dance battle, a break-dance exhibition put on by Red Bull’s BC One team featuring some world famous b-boys, and some of the best vendors. We’re also doing a fashion show called Counter Couture which exclusively features sneakers and accessories on body painted models. I’m even hyped about the artists doing the body paint! They’re some of the most talented guys I’ve seen come out of Atlanta.

What does the A3C mean to you as the founder?

I take a tremendous amount of pride in what we have been able to build here in Atlanta. Especially in a city so widely known for a specific style of rap music we have been able to showcase very well the history of hip hop as well as being a launching pad for what’s next in the genre. The event is so well supported by our local hip hop community and the national media that watching it grow from a three night concert into an event that people circle on the calendars months in advance makes me feel like we’re really doing something positive.

What are you gonna do on March 23?

I am sure that like every other year once we close the doors at 3am on Sunday morning the party will keep rolling somewhere but I will go get some sleep and spend a day with my two year old son teaching him more old school rap lyrics. He can pretty well bust out radio edits of most of Black Sheep’s “The Choice is Yours” and “Monie in the Middle” by Monie Love. I probably owe it to him to work on “Ain’t no Half Steppin’ by Big Daddy Kane or” Whack MC’s” by Del in honor of the festival. Gotta raise him up with a sense of history right? We’ll probably be back to planning for 2009 by April and then it will be back on the grind.