V8ga Style: Beats And Bars, A Year Away from Graduation

Written By: Anthony "V8ga" Hilliard

Content Edited By: Kimberly Knight

Photo Credit: Lanette Lee of Write Productions

Freshman year is a scary awkward time. It’s a new experience where you’re constantly reminded that it’s “sink or swim”. Just showing up is half the battle. If you can survive the initial shock and push through the madness, then that’s a win in itself. Freshman year seems like the longest year mainly because of the unfamiliarity, but in reality it’s just as long as any other year. Year two when you become a sophomore you’re starting to get the hang of it. You still have remnants of freshmen year lingering, but by now you have a few steps forward, you’re growing, confidence is building, and you’re achieving new goals unimaginable just a year ago. Junior year you’re more established and your brand is cementing. You can see the finish line, the fear of freshman year is all but a fading memory. No one’s gonna dare try to stuff you in a locker ever again. Just think you’re a year away from graduation there’s nothing stopping you now. Year three is in the books. It’s time for the Beats and Bars Festival to take senior portraits and buy that cap and gown.

Rapper Dumbfoundead

Rapper Dumbfoundead

Through adversity and change the Beats and Bars Festival has stood the test of time and remained relevant.  Each year this festival grows boldly thanks largely in part to the diligence of Crystal Taylor or as you know her on IG @queencurator. Like a junior student in school, BNB has established itself, but it still has more potential.  Just last year the festival stage was in a parking lot in downtown Durham. This year the festival was centralized next to the Durham Bulls Stadium with headquarters inside of Cuban Revolution. At this rate of exponential growth you can plan to see BNB artists inside the actual stadium by its fourth year. This year kicked-off with its ritual roof top artist exposure and included several workshops, showcases, and performances. Vendors riddled the streets with valuable information. Artists and hip hop enthusiasts networked to a live soundtrack.  The Lux had a chance to chop it up with a few of the festival performers and attendees.


Is this your first Beats and Bars Festival?

"This is my first one. This is my first time performing and being a spectator. It’s an honor and a pleasure."

What’s your experience so far? Who are you looking forward to seeing?

"Man Young Bull is really killing it right now, those are my guys, and seeing them kill it is awesome.  My man Nance did a crazy job. I’ve heard of $wank but I’ve never heard $wank’s music but they killed it. So if i can catch everybody else that’s going on tonight in good time before I go back to New York I’m all for it. I’m a fan of it all."

@omari_akil - Co Founder @bgbrothas @rapgodzboardgame

Is this your first Beats and Bars?

"Yea this is my first one and I went to the underground rooftop joint last night, and they had craaaaazy hot artists!"

Who are u looking forward to seeing as far as the line up?

"I’m looking forward to Kemosxbe, Facts about Bob, Dumbfoundead, and Dead Prez."


Is this your first Beats and Bars?

"This is my first time performing but I’ve been coming to Beats and Bars before it was not called Beats and Bars, It was called The Durham Hip Hop Summit. I’m an OG to this lol."

Who are you looking forward to seeing?

"Honestly, I’m looking forward to the Wreck N Crew, It’s been awhile since seeing them together. This will be their first performance together in awhile. Yea Facts about Bob and Wreck N Crew."

Kimberly Knight