Will Claye performs at last year's Arizona Hip-Hop Festival in downtown PhoenixEXPAND
Will Claye performs at last year's Arizona Hip-Hop Festival in downtown Phoenix
DJ John Blaze

Here's the Lineup for the Arizona Hip Hop Festival 2018

The annual Arizona Hip Hop Festival has undergone a few changes this year, to say the least. The locally focused hip-hop extravaganza, which features performances by hundreds of rappers, MCs, and artists from the Valley scene, has expanded to two days and will take place in a new location with an even bigger lineup than before.

Put simply, the weekend-long event, which takes place on Saturday, November 10, and Sunday, November 11, in downtown Phoenix, is bigger than it's ever been.

Justus Samuel, the local community organizer and hip-hop impresario that oversees the festival, tells Phoenix New Times that, despite all the changes, the event still has the same focus.

“It's ultimately the same thing, only doubled,” Samuel says. “We're adding everything we wanted to have in the past. We just now have the real estate to do it all.”

This year’s festival will encompass a sizable area along Washington Street between First and Second streets. The area will be fenced off and feature performances, activities, and events in all of the clubs, bars, and venues located in the area.

"Every business within the footprint will be involved with the festival in some way," Samuel says.

For instance, the strip of nightclubs and bars along Washington Street – including the Monarch Theatre, Bar Smith, Luxx, and Majerle’s Sports Grill – will host performances. Attendees will be able to dip in and out of each venue both days of the festival.

“All the front and back doors to the venues will also be open for access, so you can poke your head in and check out everything that's going on throughout the day,” Samuel says.

Around the corner, Cartel Coffee will offer a mix of acoustic music, spoken word, and various Q&A sessions and workshops covering everything from publishing, performing, and licensing to how to throw your own show.

“We're just going to do more of an educational platform in an intimate setting,” Samuel says. “Basically, you can go in, ask questions, and learn while getting contacts and networking for the future.”

Meanwhile, First Street will feature an area for kids and families (since the festival is an all-ages event at children under 12 get free admission) and Second Street will have an outdoor stage, live artists, a Low Rider and custom car show, vendors, and other activities.

The alleyway behind Monarch and Bar Smith, which has become a haven for graffiti art over the past decade, will also host festival events.

“It's a really rad location. I asked the [city of Phoenix] if they'd power wash it and remove the dumpsters and they're into it. So that's awesome because we're going to have a stage in the alley, live painters, food trucks, satellite bars, and vendors.”

One of the stages at last year's Arizona Hip Hop Fesitval.EXPAND
One of the stages at last year's Arizona Hip Hop Fesitval.
Zack Allard

The Arizona Hip Hop Festival previously took place every year at Comerica Theatre since its launch in 2015. Samuel says that while the venue was receptive to hosting the festival, he felt they needed a bigger and more flexible location that would allow the event to grow larger. Samuel says his record label and promotions company, Respect the Underground, worked with nonprofit community development organization Downtown Phoenix Inc. to help make it happen.

“I just feel like we found a home with the new location that's going to allow us to grow exponentially,” Samuel says.

Another thing that’s increased in size at Arizona Hip Hop Festival 2018 is its roster of performers. According to Samuel, more than 300 local rappers, MCs, and hip-hop artists will be featured this year, a step up from the 250 that appeared in 2017.

“This year we're really focused on new faces,” Samuel says. “The last four years have been all the tenured practitioners and all the big names and the more prominent [artists], but this year we wanted to open things up to people who are really excited to be involved and we wanted to introduce the community to the faces to watch.”

The bigger lineup is one of the reasons why he decided to make the festival a two-day affair, Samuel says. He’s also extended set times to 30 minutes for headliners like Mega Ran, Will Claye, and J. Rob the Chief, as well as 15 minutes for other artists.

“Last year we booked 250 artists; this year, we have I believe around 330. The reason we did that is so we could extend the set times and have longer stage times for the artists,” Samuel says. “Because everybody wants to be involved.”

Mega Ran (left) and Bag of Tricks Cat are both scheduled to perform at the Arizona Hip Hop Festival.EXPAND
Mega Ran (left) and Bag of Tricks Cat are both scheduled to perform at the Arizona Hip Hop Festival.
Luis Perez

So who will be performing at this year’s Arizona Hip Hop Festival. Samuel gave Phoenix New Times an exclusive glimpse at the lineup and it includes a mix of established local hip-hop stars (Dann G, Yung Face, Hood and Judge Da Boss, Trap House, Dub Fuego, and Emerg McVay) and up-and-coming locals.

Here’s the complete list of the 300-plus artists that are currently scheduled to perform at this year’s festival, arranged in alphabetical order.

A Train
A.S.T
Aakeem
Adonis
AKRESHON
Ambiguous
Amias Amir
Amonte
ANDRE´
Anonymous
Anthony Cortez & Jay Bryan
Apollo Saunders
Ardy Reapz
Aske
Atak - Comin From CO.
Augie
Avail Richess
AVD
AZ Lowrider
AZFRYDAY
B.
Baby Jayce
Bag of Tricks Cat & Mega Ran
Benjamin Fly
Benni Smoke
Benny Loc
Benzo
Beyond Platinum
BG
Big J Tha Dominant MC
Blaqpe$o
Blk Fenix
Brandon Michael
Brixx
Brothaz Grimm
Bruce - Mesa Made Records
BSB HottBoyy BennyBandz
BTA Boomer
Bubba G
Buddha Tha Skitzo
C Leach
C.G. Wells
Ca$h Macaw
Cash Klann
CerSire
CGM
Cain Cortez
Chalease
Chink Gee / BCG
Chris Dreams
Chy Reco /comin from CO.
City Boi & Lefty
Cordero Eubanks
CuddieDeon
D Mase
D.M.E
Da Casper K!D
Dame Daniels
Dann G
Dayo G
DBO_Lonewolf
Defiant
Delly Everyday
Derrick Bowers
Die Nasty The Mexican Thuggalo
ThaDifrence
Dirt Squad
Doc Hilton
Don Eyo

Don Parkside
Dooky Stick
DopeBoi J
Double Barrel
Dough Boyy
DoughBoy Wicked Mob
Dougie Drew
Drai$
DreamKast
Drip Team aka LouieLee
Dub Fuego (TBF)
Dvnci
Dyligent
Earth Yarb
Ellie Roots
Emerg Mcvay
Enoc Isaiah
EPOD TRIBE / SMZ1
Eric James
eSauce & Bauce Family
E-Sharp
ETG
FBA Wayne Gang
The FAMM
Fetti Bound Ent.
Fetti Fit Aka Club Rollin Music
Floowood
Fly'B
FortyEightOh
FRESCOTOLDYA
Ghost The Alchemist
Ghxst
The Gift
Goldmind18
Gonzo
Good Samaritan
Grynd
Guamo The Beast
Guerrilla Music
Guyv3r
H.G.T The Don
Hamer Crazie The Life Liver
Hardbody Ent
Harvey Spek
Hood & Judge Da Boss
Honey Jai
Hope
Hot Rock Supajoint
Hot Rotney
Hntr Jmz & Tru Barz
HyprBst
IBSG
Invested
J Dubb Tha King
J Louis The God
J Walk
J. Rob the Chief
JaeChewlo3x
Jah'lil
Jahwan Hendrix
Jaron Ikner (a.k.a. Black One)
Jay Cortez
Jay Mixon
Jay Trip
JayyCee
Jeezy D
JeLisaTiara
Jerrit
Jerry Perez
Joe P
Joe Smoke
Joobs
Jordan G
Joseph Bills
Juelz

Just The Empress
JustUs
Keays
Kee
Keem Riche$
Keiairgee
KG
Kgdm Life
Kid Neves
The Kid Reed
Kill$olow
King Mari
Komplx
Kooqua
Krook & Nino
KT Gipson
Kuru
Kyle Burkett
KVNG
L.A.Z
Lamaj Doh
Lamas Rec.
Lager
Lav & Tra Vis Bash
Lazy Boy Squad
LeanBoys Aka Lonely Rosee
Leewater
LegacyThaLegend & Sage Carnegie
Levell Aka Levell Music
LfeTme
Lil Beanbag
Living Vocal
Lizzy Page of Starstruck Ent.
LordByron
Los aka HM Los
Lost Flyer
Loud Gang
Loudpaknet
Louie Cipher
LoyalT
Lucky D
Lue Flame & Antique
Lyrical Union
M. Verse
M.O.C aka Powndz
Macaholicz
Madrid
Manage Lokey
Manny Flows
Mario Monstree
Markus J
Marleypark
MCH
Melee
Mesa Gold Grillz
Metronome
Michaelwave
Mickey Zobel
Millie G
Miss V
Mista White
Modest Ra
Money Bag Trio
Money N Fame
Murkx
Muze
MXL
N.F.E
Natho The Lotus
9D5
No Class Millionaires
Nova
Nroc Leoj
OGXO
Omar Arizona
OS1K
P. Jaye Tha Principal x Higher Learning
Paco Doe / GS / Johnny Kartel
The Paparazzi Gurlz
PaperChasin ENT Aka E-Locc
Paris the Hip Hop Heiress
Phenom
PIFF
Pimp Tight – Tangueray
Play Loco (TBF)
Poindexter
Pokafase
Poppa Savant
POWERCIRCLE ENT
PurpStone Ent
Qswole
Qiayz
QUEEN LI
Rahn G
RAMPAGE
Randal Wrecked
Ray Strive
RayMo
Rely Emerson
Rene Fresh
Renz Benz
Retro Legendz
Reze
The R!DDL3R
Roc D
Roso
Rovert Nayr
Run It Up Davis

S.O.N
Savguy Meech & Prince Carter
SayLess Bizzy
Scooby Rite
$haii $aavy
Sha'Rozae
Shorty Nice
Sinista Da Gift
SLIXX
Smeared Lipstick Crew
$mirk & Messi
Sonni Boi
Soul Winna1
Souljah
Soulus
Ssonic The Slacker
Star Money Gang ENT.
$taypaid
Sticc Hyde
StoopKid
Streets
Str8laced
Stryf3
Studio Flo
Super Rail Tha Gift #1329
T Suede
T-Doogs
T-Rippa
T.C.P
Tae-D
Taylor Rene'
Team O.B.E.Z
Terrorist Angel Babies from Neptune
ThaK.i.D
3:4 Thish Aka Jamar
397
3BReal
ThroneKid
Tragedy & Piff
Trap Hippies
Trap House & The Black Family
Trees Aka SxnnyGxld
Treezy & Deezy aka Black Sheep
Trent Stark
Trey Triple
The Tribe
Trouble Music
True Cole
Truth
Tullis
20POUNDS
2DASHD
Undaestimated
Vinsane
Vonni G
We 2 Live
Who You Dont See
Widow M.K.R.
Will Claye
Wom
Wray
XP
Ybezzy
YbThaGreat
YGF Lante
Yitti Hustla
YPC
Yog Westwood
Young Spider & K. Mahree
Yung Face
Yung June
Yung Phantom
Yung Quiz
Yvng Pr!nce
Zay
Zay$zn
Zke Vee
Zona Muzix

Arizona Hip Hop Festival 2018. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, November 10, and Sunday, November 11, along Washington Streets between First and Second streets in downtown Phoenix; azhiphopfestival.com. Tickets are $50 for a two-day pass.

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