“Diverse and talented more so than any other state because we’re in between two big cities of Philly and
New York so we been the little guy that has to stand up for themselves."-Glen Thorton of Slaag Records
(AllHipHop News) New Jersey is at times an afterthought when discussing the east coast's influence on the landscape of music. This neglect is even internally perpetuated in the city with residents feeling as if South Jersey was forgotten during New Jersey's modern improvement.
But that all is changing and has been for the past eight years.
The 8th annual Lincoln Park Music Festival is product of a conscious desire to showcase acts from or heavily affiliated with New Jersey, creating a microcosm of the diversity of the culture in New Jersey. Newark Idol, hosted by Buttafly Soul will showcase homegrown talent in dance, rap, singing and spoken word to be graded by celebrity judges.
"Jazz In Lincoln Park", hosted by Amiri Baraka will feature and 8-piece band including a musical tribute to Newark native and jazz great Wayne Shorter. Veteran saxophonist Alfred Patterson hopes "Jazz In Lincoln Park" can reinvigorate the enthusiasm for jazz in New Jersey as he remembers decades ago:
There used to be jazz clubs in downtown Newark just about every block. Teddy Powell on Broad Street. Key Club. Howard St Bar. In the 60’s, as a musician, sessioning, you could go out every night and session. There was jazz going on in five different clubs every night. Now at any one time jazz is going on in about two clubs. Besides that it’s really died down.
New Jersey's proliferation of house music will be showcased on the festival's 2nd day (July 27th) and Slaag Records Recording Artist Eddie Nicholas, world renowned DJ Punch, Tiger Wilson among a wide variety of others.
The festival reaches its climax with a collection of Hip Hop artists performing that would make J. Dilla and the Notorious B.I.G. cry a tear of joy from heaven. The list includes Redman, Black Thought, , Lords of the Underground, The Hit Squad (Das EFX, K-Solo, EPMD, Redman), Artifacts, Sugar Hill Gang, Kwame (minus the polka-dots?), Rah Digga, Mr. Cheeks of the Lost Boys and of course surprise guests.
Do It All from Lords of the Underground spoke with AllHipHop recently about New Jersey's immense influence on Hip Hop and on the highest selling rap artist of all time, Eminem:
I've been around Treach and Redman since young. Not to be racial but to have this white boy from Detroit who lived in Newark NJ and slept on the outside of his house with Young Zee and Pacewon, I’m not surprised [he was influenced by Treach]. When you are around around those type of people you get influenced.
The festival represents more than just three days of amazing music. The Lincoln Park Music Festival has transformed into an emblem of progress for the once desolate area.
The festival changed the brand and image of the community. Because of the change developers have built more houses. We have made a name for Lincoln Park. This is going to be the new Red Hook and Tribeca. The gentrification inclusive of us.- Anthony Smith
For more information on The Lincoln Park Music Festivalvisit the website http://lpccd.org.