The creative and collaborative energy at Hip Hop festivals is the stuff legends are made of. From Redman and 8Ball crafting “Coffee Shop” after a random encounter at How Can I Be Down? to the beef between Death Row and Luke Records initiated at Jack The Rapper, countless stories usually emerge. If SMKA and Grammy Nominated production team The Royal Flush have any say, the 2011 edition of A3C will be just as memorable. In addition to judging the iStandard Producers Showcase, SMKA and The Royal Flush took advantage of all the artists and producers that descended upon Atlanta and opened up the doors to Stankonia Studios.
“Mike [Walbert] from SMKA actually approached us with the idea of doing a collaborative effort here,” explained Jeron Ward of The Royal Flush. Ward along with his partner Rick Walkk were nominated for a Grammy for their 2008 work on Big Boi and Andre 3000’s “Royal Flush,” which also featured Raekwon. “[Mike] also had some ties with Grooveshark.com, so we brought them in and laid out a pretty solid plan. Considering all the different people we had—at least 15 to 20 different artists—come through during those three days, I think we really made it work.”
That plan led to the project Grooveshark.com Presents: Stankonia Sessions - A3C Edition. It will be the first of an ongoing series, and in a move that reflects Hip Hop’s shift towards streamable content offered with the option to buy an accompanying physical copy, will initially be offered exclusively via Grooveshark starting November 16.
“Everyone we worked with were kind of pleasant surprises,” explained Walkk. “The name Stankonia is legendary, so a lot of the artists that came in got surprised as well. Big Boi and Killer Mike came through, and it was just like being in a continuous cypher. I’ve never experienced Hip Hop on a raw level like that. I wanted to start battling!”
It would appear that any competition was of the friendly variety, as the spirit of collaboration was in the air. Initial offerings such as “Heaven’s Door,” featuring Joe Scudda, Termanology and Jon Connor as well as the Killer Mike, Thurz and Aleon Craft collaboration “Bitches And Drugs” are currently making their way through cyberspace via blogs and sites like HipHopDX. And while the reach and price point of the Internet are hard to argue against, The Royal Flush have bigger plans going forward.
“We’ll look into physical copies and possibly even vinyl,” Ward added. “The main thing was to make it like a historic event. As big as A3C, SMKA and Stankonia are individually, we wanted to cement that and make this something that will be around for a minute.”
For those that missed iconic moments such as Big Daddy Kane rocking the A3C stage in classic form, or Exile chilling with MC Shan, the Grooveshark release will still offer a chance to experience what happened during the first week of October in Atlanta. Nearly a month later, the spirit of collaboration is still in the air, as The Royal Flush has added to their fold.
“Collectively, I just want to add a little seasoning salt to these fries we’re cooking up,” explained Hollyweerd member Dreamer, who recently also joined The Royal Flush. “We’ve been around the same energy for a minute, so this just kind of solidified things.”