SMACK/URL is set to include Battle Rap at this year's A3C festival, an event scheduled to take place in Atlanta, Georgia October 2 through October 6.
The first annual Battle Rap event at the festival is slated to take place October 4. Rich Dolarz is scheduled to battle JC and John John Da Don is set to battle Cortez on the card. The event is also slated to include a performance from R.A. the Rugged Man.
SMACK/URL's co-founder Beasley recently spoke with HipHopDX about the event.
"A3C is probably the biggest music convention that's solely focused on Hip Hop, giving opportunities to new artists," Beasley said in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. "I felt that it was important that we extend the URL brand. While it is popular online and people know about it, it's always good to go to different markets and different regions and expose it to other people who may not have had the opportunity to enjoy the battles live."
SMACK/URL's Beasley Explains Match-Up Between John John Da & Cortez
The battles set to take place were planned out specifically for this event, according to Beasley.
"John John Da Don is actually from New York, but he's based in Atlanta," Beasley said. "Being out there, he's been able to amass a fan base in Atlanta. I think it's important to have someone who kind of represents Atlanta, that people know...Cortez and John John have been wanting to battle for some time. Cortez is a journeyman. He's battled abroad and has had great battles recently in Canada and different places. Now, he's coming back to the core to really face some competition that is gonna be extremely tough. The two of them make a great match-up."
SMACK/URL's Beasley Discusses Battle Between JC & Rich Dolarz
Another battle set to take place at the event features JC and Rich Dolarz.
"JC is one of URL's rising stars," Beasley said. "He's making a lot of noise. A lot of people are really into what he's doing. He's young. He's exciting. He puts on a great performance every time he steps on a stage. He's going against Rich Dolarz, who is a veteran. He has tons of experience...He's battled just about all of the top level emcees. He hasn't battled in a while. He's been working on his music career and his personal life and he's just been doing different things, but a lot of people have been calling for him to make his return. He wanted to return against someone that was gonna give him stiff competition."
SMACK/URL's Beasley Says Hip Hop Is Missing Street-Based Lyricists
Beyonde the battles, Beasley also spoke about what he is looking forward to witnessing at A3C this year.
"I'm looking to see a couple of things," Beasley said. "I'd like to see new stars emerge. I'm interested to see what talent is booked. A lot of times at these types of conventions, South by South West or A3C, it's usually one type of artist that's booked. That's usually your hipster Internet kid with silver sneakers and he has a certain vibe or certain way that he dresses and certain perspective that he comes across with in his music. I'd like to see if it's diverse, to see if there's other guys out here who are just from the street, making traditional Hip Hop music, who aren't singing or who didn't get a live acoustic guitar to be the bridge of the song and you hear some birds humming...I'd just like to see if there's something different...I would like to see a nice balance."
The balance is something that the industry lacks, according to Beasley.
"Right now, the only lyrics that we're getting are from guys like Kendrick Lamar, Drake, J. Cole, which are dope, but they all have kind of a similar perspective, kind of a college perspective," Beasley said. "I want to hear something lyrical from a street perspective. I'll be interested to see if they sought that out, if that's actually going to be present and if people will react to it. Right now, I don't see anybody who's lyrical. It seems like everyone from a street perspective is doing Trap music and all the lyrical guys are kind of hipsters or they're coming from an college perspective or an underground perspective. I just want to hear somebody who's lyrical and looks like a regular rapper and walks around with an unforgiving attitude, like a DMX or Jadakiss. Where are the new guys that are like that, the new T.I.s, the new Jeezys? I'm interested to see if those guys are actually being developed or allowed to flourish."
More information on A3C can be found at A3Cfestival.com.
Additional Reporting By: Justin Hunte