The annual A3C hip-hop festival stands for All Three Coasts held in Atlanta, Georgia every year. Showcasing the best independent hip-hop artists from all the country, the festival has concluded and the results are in. You heard it here first at Sonic Eclectic, here is a summary of the best artist from each coast.
East: Homeboy Sandman
As an undergrad student majoring in English with a focus on creative writing at The University of Pennsylvania, Homeboy Sandman had aspirations other than pursuing a career in hip-hop. As he enrolled in law school at Hofstra University, however, it became apparent to him that music was his future, and he followed his calling. When Homeboy Sandman’s first full album, “Nourishment (Second Helpings)” came out in 2007 and sold on iTunes, the seriousness and devotion toward his music career became ever so apparent. While performing gigs all across the New York area, Homeboy Sandman’s music was stumbled upon by a contributor for The Source at the Bowery Poetry Club and was later featured in the “Unsigned Hype Column.” This was Homeboy Sandman’s first substantial national spotlight.
He felt, in his own words, “I’m not anywhere near where I want to go, I still work harder everyday than the day before.” In 2008, when his second album, “Actual Factual Pterodactyl,” dropped, people rapidly began noticing that this MC had an intriguing flow as well as diverse lyrical patterns. Homeboy Sandman has since turned into a rapper for the people; he is a true hip-hop junkie who is devoted to his fans as well as his music. Homeboy Sandman is an icon for the East Coast and the nation’s hip-hop culture as a whole as he does what only so few people do; rap not for success but for love of the people and of the never ending musical journey. This past summer his third album “The Good Sun,” came out which is his most personal album yet. This is the album where people know he can rap, they know he can entertain and now they get to learn about who Homeboy Sandman really is.
This past year, Skewby was featured in The Source’s “Unsigned Hype” column making him the first rapper out of Memphis ever to be featured. Having the spotlight in the “Unsigned Hype” column gave Skewby the notion that people are recognizing his music–which in turn gave him the energy to “let you keep going…With so many rappers in the game you can get overshadowed.” After high school, Skewby moved to Atlanta to cultivate a career as a producer. While he was producing beats, he started Skewby Snax Publishing under which all of his current work is still crafted. While producing, Skewby realized that his real skill was lyricism and thus he began rapping. In 2009, he dropped his first mixtape titled “Proving You Wrong Since ’88.” More recently he has been working on his debut album “More or Less,” which a track, “Me Against the World,” leaked onto the internet and has received noteworthy reviews. The track which is a lyrical testimony to the life that Skewby leads, exemplifies everything that he hopes to put out to his fans through music, “Some people love me, some people don’t…my music is my story, who I am, and I hope that I can help people through my own story.”
West: The Jacka
Pittsburg, California native The Jacka who launched his music career with the group Mob Figaz is an artist who defines what independent hip-hop is today. Quality is the primary focus of all work that The Jacka brings to the table. The Jacka has set himself apart from all other artists in the hip-hop market today by creating music that is uniquely different. Instead of conforming to “pop” rap, The Jacka has created a delicacy to musical fans by going back to hip-hop’s roots. In 2001 when he decided to go solo and put out his first album “Jacka of the Mob Figaz,” he did what very few independent rappers do; sell 30,000 units all by himself. In 2008, The Jacka received the praise from Ozone Magazine as he picked up the “Patiently Waiting Award.” As the only independent artist to be honored in any category, The Jacka was truly grateful for the recognition of his peers. His newest work, “Broad Daylight” is a self-described, “smarter album… As you do more stuff, you grow into music. Every day you learn and every day you get smarter… So you can achieve what you’re looking for.” The Artist Records, The Jacka’s own independent label has also allowed him the opportunity to create a footing in the music realm from the ground up. He is working on new albums with both Freeway as well as Paul Wall which are due out soon. You can catch some of The Jacka’s newest material on The Gobots II. With the drive and dedication that The Jacka brings to hip-hop, his music will always be a true testimony to the essence of rap music forever.