The People Are Speaking Up

We have 8 days until the 6th Annual Arizona Hip Hop Festival kicks off and it’s getting people in their feelings. It seems that every year, the closer we get to the festival, the louder the detractors get. But it seems that the tides are turning as a growing number of emboldened and passionate people are commenting on all the hate and negativity. They are shutting it down as either jealousy, envy, or just a plain misunderstanding of the facts. VA Verse is the latest member of the Arizona Hip Hop community to show their support for the Arizona Hip Hop Festival. A prominent voice in the community, accomplished artist and co-host of the podcast For Better Or Worse, Verse is not one to shy away from any topic. His statement on Facebook ran down his grievances with those that try and bring hate when, as VA Verse said, “You’re around a bunch of ppl that enjoy the same shit you enjoy. Have some damn fun.” That was one of those grievances, he just can’t see why people can’t enjoy the fact that they are surrounded by people that love the same things they do. I’m sure many people agree with him.

It’s not all about just having leisure time for many attendees, performers, vendors, or artists. A good amount of want to gain exposure and network. A lot of networking happens at events like this and Verse isn’t shy about his thoughts towards it “Networking is SUCH a powerful thing. I'm not gonna explain that, if you know, you know.” If you can’t see the benefit of interacting with thousands of people that are either involved with your craft in someway or support it then you are behind the eight ball to start any argument trying to discredit the opportunities for artists and the like. He hit the nail on the head when he spoke on the value that the festival brings to other artists, “All you mfs acting like artists have little to no gain are either lying or you're stupid.” and he clarified a bit more “Money can definitely be made(if you got your shit together) get ya merch, ya music, etc off. Ppl spend money, I promise.” This is a man that can see the bigger picture for himself and others involved.


The least relevant yet seemingly mentioned most often is the financial standing of those who put this festival together. As Verse said and anyone knows, ”It takes money to make

money”, so obviously this isn't some huge pocket padding endeavor that has been manifested through manipulation or coercion for the past six years. If you decide to put on any event and it’s succeeds, especially an annual event going strong for more than half a decade then I would hope that there would be some kind of financial benefit for you. The poignant words Verse used to close out his statement said it best, “The time and effort it takes to execute something of this magnitude, shit the mf deserve to make some bread. I don't know how much he makes but if you don't have money invested in the shit, how is that even your business????”


VA Verse just wants to enjoy what Justus and RTU have built for Arizona. His sentiments are not exclusive to him and he knows it. The man speaks for a lot of those that are tired of so much negative talk surrounding an event that should be celebrated and appreciated. With only 8 days till the doors open it’s good to see that the gloom hovering over the haters is like a cartoon rain cloud that only follows them on their sad path. For the rest of us it will be a great weekend full of music and memories.


by: Steven Sandage

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