My last panels of this year’s Midatlantic Music Conference were at 5 PM back at The Chop Shop in Charlotte’s NoDa district, and then the final night of showcases began immediately afterwards, with a showcase featuring artists from the student-run Split Rail Records label, which is a part of Appalachian State University in Boone. I particularly noticed a singer-songwriter from Charlotte on the label named Alexis Worthington, who was performing on the back indoor stage. Not long afterward, Raleigh-based indie artist Frank Hurd was performing his rootsy, tuneful style with his band on the front stage, and caught my attention.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Grand Hustle recording artist Ricco Barrino was the only artist at the Ultimate Hip-Hop Experience to perform with a band, and it was a really good band at that. Its members had jokingly told me in the parking lot that they were the “Django Band”, but the joke wasn’t entirely inappropriate, as their style was fearless and ferocious.