The I Heart Hip Hop Mini Fest is keeping it old skool. And by that we mean this event harkens back to the days when it was more about b-boy culture than pimpin‘ ain’t easy, when it was more about Afrika Bambaataa than 50 Cent. “The purpose is to have a collective and unified underground hip-hop scene that is just for IE locals,” promoter Logik DIY Productions tells the Weekly. “This festival is a response to major corporate factions that would have you believe that there is no music other than what they tell you to like. We want to bring scratching back to hip-hop. We want b-boys battling and beat boxers rocking.” True dat, true dat—and this three-day fest in fact will bring back that ol’ Bronx flavor with a mix of events including freestyle open mic sessions, live rhyme slinging, DJ sets and art—ya gotta have that urban art. The first night—tonight—is free and coincides with Riverside’s Arts Walk. About 13 acts are booked for Friday and Saturday, including The Usual Suspects, Kasino Gang (they’ve got a not-yet-titled EP dropping this summer), NYNE, Apostrophe, Snapps (currently working on something called The Untouchable Mix Tape), Kid Presentable (“saying random nonsense like b-boys on acid trips”), Lyrisick, J Hook and others. Keeping it real? This fest does just that.
The I Heart Hip Hop Mini Fest at the Life Arts Building, 3485 University Ave., Riverside, email firstname.lastname@example.org; www.myspace.com/logikdiy, http://tinyurl.com/ylmabvb. Thurs-Sat, April 1-3. 7-11:30PM Thurs (free), 7PM-midnight Fri-Sat ($5 cover). All ages.