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Well, what can I say? Last weekend’s D2D Hip-Hop Summit was fun: It was pure pleasure to see so many of our city’s youth gather in one place to celebrate each other’s talents and hip-hop skills. Speaking for myself, coming form the ’90s to ’00s hip-hop generation, it wasn’t quite up to those back-in-the-day’ skills, but there were still many talented individuals onstage. This was the fourth year of the event, created to celebrate the youth of Wards 7 and 8 who have made a difference and who (as defined in the event brochure) “epitomize ‘Voicing Our Teen Experiences’.” This was definitely a great setting for recognizing while still establishing a platform for youth.

The program was held at Friendship Public Charter School Collegiate Academy, hosted by 93.9 WKYS and run and operated by East River Family Strengthening Collaborative, among other partners. The adults there were surprisingly friendly (and how I wish I could run into these people everyday while riding the crowded and boring metro ride into work). Everyone there seemed to know what was going on and if they didn’t, they knew someone who did. How often does that happen? Professionalism was the key here, and it really showed.

The performers were on point, too. There were rappers—-a duo, Harlem X, surprisingly grabbed a lot of attention. There were also R&B artists; with the fine and divine Robyn Janelle putting various vocal styles on display. I wasn’t too impressed with Main Girl, though. It seemed like these very talented ladies were just short of enough talent, and enough humility—-calm down ladies, you’re almost there, but not quite. They also had some go-go—-and these guys were on stage as soon as I came in, so that made the day nice on dat norf-east side. It was all very good—sorry guys, didn’t catch your names but I’ll try next time.

As for the audience: Though these kids were positive to back their peers up on their musical performances, I think I’ve had my fill of hearing sh*t and f*ck for a while. A lot of young people, but also many parents and adult support so it was a chillin’ scene. There were many fellas there and about three times as many young ladies. This was an event worth attending and I’d go again—-to get some of my youth back!