4th ANNUAL SOURCE360 FESTIVAL & CONFERENCE
REACHES NEW HEIGHTS
Multi-Faceted 2017 Event Hosted Concerts, Block Party,
Pivotal Sessions on Cannabis, Community Policing, Tech,
Media, Music Marketing, and
The State of Hip-Hop
*(New York) – The 4th Annual SOURCE360 Festival & Conference was recently held in downtown Brooklyn, N.Y. Once again, SOURCE360 brought together members of the local community, artists, business executives, media mavens, performers, and other creative professionals to further the conversation around the cultural benefits, political significance, social applications, and artistic value of Hip-Hop culture.
SOURCE360 created a profound and powerful laboratory for new music and ideas. The multi-faceted event featured concerts, a block party, and pivotal sessions designed to address myriad issues and crafts¬ as well as to entertain, educate and inspire.
The SOURCE360 opening events took place at the historic Brooklyn Borough Hall. “We presented more business and public policy panels at Borough Hall because it is a public governmental building and in the spirit of public interest, it was important and appropriate to show the impact of the culture on public policy and public safety in that space,” notes L. Londell McMillan, executive producer of the SOURCE360 Festival & Conference.
On Thursday, the daylong SOURCE360 Tech Hackathon, in partnership with Blue 1647 and Digital Girl, Inc., drew high praise from parents, educators, and attendees. The Hackathon gave kids from grades 6-12 the opportunity to apply their passion to technology. Local college students were drafted as student mentors to aid the process of learning about tech applications while fostering an atmosphere of giving back to the community, a major theme and highlight of SOURCE360.
The SOURCE360 Speaker Series also kicked off in the landmark Borough Hall with Tech: New Age of Digital Music, Marketing & Making Money, a pivotal session that offered the jam-packed room an extraordinary inside look at new age technology and commerce with an A-list panel of business and creative experts, including Kedar Frederic of TuneCore, Corey Llewellyn of Digiwaxx, Yomi Desalu of BET, and Wendy Washington of This Is Dope!. Moderated by Lisa Evers, host of Street Soldiers and FOX 5 TV, attendees were educated on tech entrepreneurship, pathways to distributing and marketing their product or content, and other essential tools for success.
SOURCE360 invited key members of local law enforcement along with community representatives for the timely Thursday session, Community & Policing: Innovative Solutions to Increase Trust, moderated by Coss Marte, a formerly incarcerated man who reformed his life to become an inspirational entrepreneur.
The panel included Assistant Chief of Patrol Brooklyn Borough North Jeffrey Maddrey, NAACP’s Brooklyn Chapter President L. Joy Williams, Brooklyn D.A. Eric Gonzalez, Brooklyn Councilman Antonio Reynoso, Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams, and the founder of NYC Together Dana Rachlin.
The panel covered current legislative issues—including stop & frisk, body cameras for officers, right-to-know policies—as well as a discussion on whether police union advocacy creates more animosity within the community at large. This powerful session seemed to open up much-needed opportunities for dialogue and ongoing resolutions.
“I think there are certain issues of public safety and public policy that people with a Hip-Hop mentality and inner-city insight can resolve,” says McMillan. “There is a core competency issue; a lack of cultural competency within certain halls of power that don’t take into consideration cultural and Hip-Hop insights, and this perspective can be innovatively helpful in reforming and protecting the community.”
Another notable part of the Speaker Series on Thursday was Business Opportunities and Regulations of the Cannabis Industry, moderated by Gia Morón of Women Grow.
The panelists included April Walker of Walker Wear, Rani Soto of I Deserve Canna, Kassandra Frederique of New York State Drug Policy Alliance, and Marvin Washington, former New York Jet player and Super Bowl veteran.
The panel addressed pathways to entrepreneurship in addition to reconfirming marijuana’s benefits as an aid to health and wellness.
On Friday, all Speaker Series events were held at BRIC Arts|Media House and addressed a series of panels on Hip-Hop’s infiltration into visual media—from film and television to fashion and beauty.
The opening session, Glam Factor & How To Make It Work was presented in conjunction with the SOURCE sister brand, HerSOURCE. The panelists included Monica Veloz, Kahh Spence, Destiny Moore, Marshalle Crockett, and Andrea Fairweather. The group discussed and emphasized the fact that women have always been a vital part of Hip-Hop culture, influencing a boom in beauty and fashion trends and the economy.
The standing-room-only session Lights, Camera, Action: Hip-Hop Culture In Cinema & Television was moderated by noted photographer Johnny Nunez and featured filmmaker Benny Boom, pioneering artist and executive producer Roxanne Shanté, writer and filmmaker Thembisa Mshaka, Revolt executive Rahman Dukes, and actors Dorian Missick and Eden Duncan-Smith.
The group discussed ways in which those steeped in Hip-Hop culture are now being allowed to tell their own stories at a time when there is an explosion of interest in these narratives. The panelists also discussed aspects of Roxanne Shante’s upcoming biopic, set to star Nia Long and panelist Eden Duncan-Smith.
The SOURCE Latino: Bridging the Gap Of Hispanic & Urban Culture panel acknowledged the role that Latinos and Afro-Latinos have played in the history and culture of Hip-Hop, especially within the pillars of graffiti art and break dancing, in addition to music.
Moderated by Len. Boogs of Power 105.1/Sirius Shade 45, the panel included Cyn Santana (Love & Hip-Hop), musicians Max Santos and SP The Producer, as well as a live performance by Latino Hip-Hop artists Mr. Paradise and Melly Mel, the session served as a reminder of the contributions of the Latino community and a call to a more unified approach moving forward.
One of the hottest “tickets” at the conference was the SOURCE360 Master Class Power Talks with Debra Lee, CEO of BET, and Master P, CEO of No Limit. Held at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center stage, a relatively new theatrical space in downtown Brooklyn, the game-changing revealed how these two very different executives are part of the same culture but arrived from different directions, though they share many commonalities.
The two shared jewels of wisdom about business, keys to achievement, Hip-Hop culture, and balancing the drive for success with maintaining a rich family life. The event was live-streamed through all social media channels, offering the public a chance to witness and be inspired by the personal journeys of these two inspiring moguls.
Taking It To The Streets
Saturday’s final installment of the SOURCE360 Speaker Series panel was The State of Hip-Hop: 40 Years and Now Leaders of Pop Culture, moderated by L. Londell McMillan, which was held outdoors at the Block Party.
The panelists included Charlamagne Tha God of The Breakfast Club, Deb Antney, artist manager and TV personality of Love & Hip-Hop, and Lord Jamar of Brand Nubian.
The group engaged in an honest conversation about how Hip-Hop is faring regarding creativity, style, media exposure, and its impact on the community in general.
The panelists also discussed what artists and other creatives can do to give more to listeners and the next generation of creative talent.
Taking It To The Stage
The SOURCE360 highly-anticipated and celebrated performances of up-and-coming Hip-Hop artists got a chance to showcase their skills Friday night at the Unsigned Hype session, while the Mic Check: Gen Next sessions featured popular on-the-comeup stars Casanova, Jay Critch, Quadir Lateef, Phresher, Chris Rivers (son of the late Big Pun), Axel Leon, and others.
Kids, families, and the general public were able to enjoy a day of outdoor activities and live performances at the SOURCE360 Block Party, held Saturday at Brooklyn’s Rockwell Place.
The awesome gathering, sponsored by Toyota, offered an array of activities, including a photo booth and a jumbo video screen for attendees to watch themselves doing them. In addition to performances by local dance troupes, an art exhibition by Peace for Heart, there was a Kids 360 talent show for ages 16 and under. Also hitting the stage were King Combs (son of Sean Puffy Combs), C.J. Wallace (son of the late Notorious B.I.G.), Donshea Hopkins, Kyla Imani, and Renee Neufville from ‘90s duo Zhané, and more. Later Saturday evening, Brand Nubian presented a performance of their classic hits at BRIC, along with some entertaining battle rap performances.
Saturday night’s planned tribute to the late Prodigy of Mobb Deep, who passed away earlier this year, morphed into an open mic tribute that embraced the talents of those in the audience. As special guest DJs spun classic tracks from Prodigy’s recorded output, attendees were invite to share words, wisdom, and rhymes inspired by the late Hip-Hop star, turning it into a truly all-inclusive salute.
SOURCE360 Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow
The excitement wrapped on Monday, August 14, with a Legends of Hip-Hop live outdoor concert featuring Big Daddy Kane, Chubb Rock, Das EFX, and Special Ed. The free outdoor show kicked off at Brooklyn’s Wingate Field and was presented in partnership with the Office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams as part of the Wingate Concert Series. This community-oriented celebration of the history of Hip-Hop proved a fitting close for the dynamic four-day gathering. Thousands attended this event.
The 4th Annual SOURCE360 Festival & Conference hit its marks in embracing diverse audiences, showcasing every aspect of Hip-Hop culture—including arts and culture, music, film and television, fashion, business, and digital technology—and spotlighting the incredibly vibrant arts and business community of Brooklyn.
“Hip-Hop is now 40 years old, so it must be both more responsible and better appreciated as the global force that it is,” states McMillan. “SOURCE 360 is pioneering a creative and innovative expression of Hip-Hop love. We are thrilled and excited to bring this package of content and community celebration to people in a way where they can receive the positive aspects of Hip-Hop culture and the love that Hip-Hop can generate—not just the music and business—but the culture too. We’re changing the conversation. We’re repositioning the perspective because Hip-Hop is like anything else, it’s how you use it that makes the difference in the world.”
To read recaps, view photos, or get more information about the 4th Annual SOURCE360 Conference & Festival, please visit: www.thesource360.com.