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For over two decades, Rich Medina has cemented his reputation as a world class DJ. Outside the club, he’s a father, educator, platinum-selling record producer, poet, designer, public speaker and journalist. From his humble beginnings at TK Nightclub in Philadelphia to his current status manning the decks at four of New York City’s most popular recurring parties, Rich Medina has taken crowds on a sonic journey through hip-hop, house, Afrobeat, funk and soul, unearthing one musical gem after another and adhering to a singular, uplifting creed: Love Afro Life. Medina is also an advisory board member of (his alma mater) Cornell University’s Hip Hop Collection where he is a guest lecturer and panel moderator for their music and Africana departments. His writing has been featured in many esteemed publications including The Fader, Wax Poetics and Complex Magazine.
Brooklyn-based “Rebellious Against All Ahead” (aka “RAAA“) is a teen rap collective with raw youthful energy unlike any other crew on the music scene today. The AfroPunk Battle of the Bands 2015 Winners combine dope lyrics with hot beats backed by live musicians to put their concerts on a whole other level! Founder and lead rapper, Cedric “Ceddyjay” Preval, and fellow RAAA members Johnny Based, David Lee and Klipa Beats are teaming up with Quantum Split to perform an epic set for SummerStage.
Urban Word NYC champions the voices of New York City youth by providing platforms for critical literacy, youth development and leadership through free and uncensored writing, college prep and performance opportunities.
Hi-ARTS (formally known as the Hip-Hop Theater Festival) is a leading organization within the urban arts movement whose mission is to develop and produce new works of performance and visual arts; to provide a platform for artists; and to create educational and community programs that connect to and expand the audience for urban arts. For over a decade, the Hip-Hop Theater Festival has presented hundreds of artists and performances around the country by, for and about the Hip-Hop generation. More often than not this art is imbued with a sense of urgency for social justice. The Festival has also served as an early home for emerging artists, many of whom are now surfacing as household names. With the advent of HI-ARTS as its new home, the Hip-Hop Theater Festival is poised to grow beyond a festival, into new realms of artistic creation, advocacy and service to artist and the communities they serve. For more information, visit www.hi-artsnyc.org.
Brooklyn-bred Ziearre expressed a love for music at the early age of 3. His first introduction came from his uncle who played Michael Jackson’s music and videos, which sparked the beginning of Ziearre’s journey. It was no surprise that Ziearre became a music lover because his gifts also stemmed from both his mother and father’s family. As he matured and his gifts were revealed, he proved that he was not your typical entertainer, but a creator and a messenger. He explains, “I started writing songs in my head, hearing melodies and music all around me. The musical ideas just came to me, and I couldn’t turn it off.” Recording continuously, Ziearre connected with local music producer, engineer, and CEO of Nubirth Musik, Francion Corbett. He recorded his first track for his upcoming album Peak-A-Boo, and the excitement from his family and friends when they heard his music confirmed that he had a message to share with the world. Ziearre is currently honing his craft and recording his first album. He’s filmed his first music video for his single “Survive,” with Spike Lee protégé, Michael “Boogievision” Pinckney.