The 3rd Annual Hip Hop Weekly Soundstage & Interview Suite Livestream–celebrating the BET Hip Hop Awards Weekend in Atlanta—was held last week at the upscale lounge, Haven Buckhead. The invite-only event brought together an influential cross-section of the music and television industries for red carpet bravado, exclusive live interviews, and performances from the next wave of Hip Hop talent. Amidst the flashing lights and good time courtesy of Armadale and Avion cocktails, was a message of drinking and partying responsibly. CheckBAC, the innovative new technology company offering personal breathalyzer devices, had representatives on hand speaking to attendees and demonstrating just how the company’s app and device work in concert to reduce alcohol abuse and related tragedies. Fans around the world were able to view the festivities from their laptops or mobile devices, and were given a live, multi-dimensional view of all the action from the Wade Ford Red Carpet to the Monster Products Interview Suite to the AMS Music Entertainment Soundstage.
“Atlanta is the epicenter of Hip Hop, and is the ideal location to host a celebration of the wide-range of amazing talent that contribute to the ongoing growth and evolution of the world’s most powerful music and culture,” said David Mays, CEO of Hip Hop Weekly and creator of the original and most legendary awards in Hip Hop history, The Source Awards. “BET has progressively moved away from the true spirit and goal of the Hip Hop awards, which are meant to be widely inclusive and a forum to showcase the diversity of the Hip Hop culture. We hope to continue to build a broad worldwide platform for our Awards Weekend Celebration and other upcoming livestreamed specials.”
“Our industry needs more events like these,” said renowned talent agent and entertainment entrepreneur Debra Antney. “It was a great display of unity. I witnessed the industry supporting each other. There wasn’t any hate on display. This is a side of the independent scene that BET needs to put a bigger spotlight on. The performances were outstanding and the networking was great on multiple levels. I am glad I came.”
Courtesy of the Atlanta area’s largest Black-owned dealership, the brand new 2017 Ford Fusion and Ford Escape models flanked the entrance to the Wade Ford Red Carpet, as a long list of industry talent posed for photographs, and were then greeted live on-air by gorgeous HHW Correspondent Shantelle L. Super producer Drumma Boy, M-1 (of Dead Prez), breakout star Young Greatness, Dungeon Family’s Backbone, rap artist, VH-1 reality tv personality and leader of the famous Waist Gang Society PreMadonna, DJ Scream, rising Chicago star G Herbo, “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” sweethearts Rasheeda and Kirk Frost, Atlantic Records recording artist Sir The Baptist, “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” fan favorite Jessica Dime, ScottyATL, Kap G, Jhonni Blaze, Deb Antney, The Voice finalist Vedo, producer Cory Mo, super manager TJ Chapman, celebrity fashion stylist and VH1 reality show star Jo Jo, singer/actress Tiffany Evans, “Love & Hip Hop” alums Shay Johnson and Sina, super-manager Johnnie Cabbell, and R&B crooner Sammie were among the many recognizable faces that participated in the livestreamed event. Viewers who logged on for the livestream enjoyed a bevy of interviews and exclusives from popular names in music and entertainment, straight from the Monster Products Interview Suite, hosted by DJ Waffles. Whether it was M-1 of Dead Prez discussing their new project, Young Greatness revealing new music with Rick Ross, G Herbo talking about working comfortably with Atlanta producers, the interview suite was a hotbed of the latest in entertainment news. From the main room, Hip Hop Weekly Radio co-hosts Neffe and Robin interviewed guests on a wide range of topics.
Atlanta’s resident host with the most, Fort Knox, masterfully emceed the AMS Music Entertainment Soundstage that featured an array of indie artist standouts. “There was a tremendous amount of talent in that room,” noted AMS CEO Alvin Mays. Independent artists Pharaoh, Purpose, Hotboy Flocc, Cashout Clete, Alexis Ayaana, A-1, Yk-Wildend, Cliff Davis, Dirty O, Brayve, and Corey Finesse played to a packed house that included record label execs, media, and other recognizable industry gatekeepers.