This is admittedly a little late, but…better late than never! Shouts to Sean D for reaching out and blessing us with the piece. If you are a supporter of the arts and arts-based initiatives/events like Manifesto be sure to check the Beautifulcity.ca post below also!!!
By Sean Deezill
The wonderful city of Toronto recently hosted Manifesto, a 4 day long festival celebrating hip hop and the essence of a culture that is certainly more than just music. Attracting over 12,000 people at the Main Event on Sunday, September 20th, an event that was headlined by Reflection Eternal (recently reunited), 9th Wonder, Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew, and Colin Munroe, the Manifesto team developed [for the 3rd straight year] a tremendous feat of providing the city of Toronto with over a month of hip hop relative activity. Whether it was the Barbershop competitions with discounted hair cuts and fresh designs, the free-for-all graffiti wall, the hip hop workshops instructing turntablism and breakdancing, the Freshest Goods Market (similar to 100 different merch tables), the hundreds of new talent exposed in front of thousands, the film festival, or the massive art exhibition, Manifesto really brought hip hop to a whole new level in the genre’s second birthplace.
One City Series
The One City Series could be seen as the build up and conclusion to the 4-day climax that is the festival. Not to say that these events weren’t top notch, because with acts like K’naan, Classified, J.Period, Jedi Mind Tricks, Slakah the Beatchild, Mayer Hawthorne, Lindo P, and Scratch, it’s clear that talent flooded the city of Toronto during the month of September. One of the most impressive and memorable moments occurred at the Scarborough Fresh Fair, which ended on the note of a beat battle between the soon-to-be-giants Boi-1da, Rich Kidd, MegaMan, Soundsmith, and Northern Profit. It was all love though, especially considering that most of these cats grew up just around the corner from each other. Hard hitting hip hop beats and a great community to share it with? That’s a win-win nearly impossible to come by at the so-called “Screwface Capital” of the world.
The Film Festival
To open up the main events, Manifesto presented Bomb It! from award-winning director Jon Reiss. It takes the complex art of graffiti and explores greater worldwide issues while revisiting the history of the art from the origins of the prehistoric caves to the current global issues surrounding property and crime control. Additionally, the festival featured The Freshest Kids, a film looking at the groundbreaking origins of breakdancing, as well as famous b-boy crews and rappers that supported the risky and funky movement.
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