King Carter (@KINGCARTERNC) & Revenue (@team_revenue) Live at the Ultimate Hip-Hop Experience in Charlotte, #CIAA

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King Carter and Revenue are both Charlotte rap artists that have a significant following, but their appearance together as a duo at the Ultimate Hip-Hop Experience was somewhat unusual. Nevertheless, their performance together seemed as natural as if they had been performing together for years.

Baby D (@babydamg) & Young Snead (@sneadamg) (@AMGdaunit) Live at Ultimate Hip-Hop in Charlotte #CIAA

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Atlanta rapper Baby D, AKA Dizzle, began his career with Big Oomp Records, and went through several labels before he founded his own, AMG Music Group, which stands for “About My Grind.” He released his most recent album, also entitled About My Grind in November of 2012, and appeared at the Ultimate Hip-Hop Experience in Charlotte with another AMG artist known as Young Snead. In addition to performing, both artists served as judges for the showcases.

Southside Homes Live at Ultimate Hip-Hop Experience in Charlotte, #CIAA

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#180 Southside Homes The second group to appear on the Ultimate Hip-Hop showcase was introduced as Southside Homes, a group I could find nothing about online, although they were a decent rap group. The name seems to come from the rather grim housing development on the south side of Remount Road in Charlotte across the way from Brookhills Village. This area of Charlotte has actually produced a considerable amount of the city’s rap talent.

Icee Money Entertainment @IME_RalQC @JCC_RealQC at the Ultimate Hip-Hop Experience in Charlotte #CIAA

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Charlotte’s Icee Money Entertainment and Jack City Committee were the first act to appear in the Ultimate Hip-Hop Experience showcases. A fairly typical gangster rap group, they are extremely popular in Charlotte, apparently affiliated with the Hidden Valley neighborhood that gained national attention when the Hidden Valley Kings gang was featured on the television series Gangland.

Smelly Cat Coffee (@smellycatcoffee) in NoDa, Charlotte

Restaurant Reviews

Almost any trendy neighborhood or arts district will have at least one coffee bar, and Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood is no exception. What is a little unusual is that NoDa’s is called the Smelly Cat Coffee House, apparently named for a song that was in the TV series Friends (i never watched the show, so I don’t recall the song). But the only smells you’ll actually smell in Smelly Cat Coffee are the pleasant smells of roasting coffee. There is a small food menu, and you can also buy bags of beans as well as coffee brewing equipment, especially French presses. The coffee is really quite good, and worth a visit. They also have a website at http://www.smellycatcoffee.com/ where you can order coffee, tea and brewing equipment to be shipped to your door.

Country C (@countryclive) Live at the Ultimate Hip-Hop Experience in Charlotte #CIAA

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South Carolina rap artist Country C made his scheduled performance at the Ultimate Hip-Hop Experience in Charlotte despite the death of a close friend. He is about to release his new mixtape “Welcome to the Dopehole 2.0” which will be hosted by DJ Swamp Izzo. Visit Country C’s blog at http://countryclive.wordpress.com/ to keep up with new songs, new releases, tourdates and more.