For two days, the Pittsburgh Hip-Hop Collective, a group comprised of volunteer hip-hop performers, visual artists, writers, promoters, and arts managers, will present the first ever Cultured Steel Hip-Hop Festival. The event, which will take place at Alloy Studios and the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, will feature art, food, drinks, and live performances from such acts as Talib Kweli and Rapsody. On July 31st, Cultured Steel kicks off with a grand opening of the art exhibit 40 Years Of Hip-hop Arts & Culture and a special screening of The Hip-Hop Fellow, a film that uses one artist’s journey to explore hip-hop’s place in academia.
The 78-minute documentary from Kenneth Price (The Wonder Year) follows Grammy Award-winning producer Patrick Douthit, better known as 9th Wonder, during his a tenure at Harvard University as he teaches ‘The Standards of Hip-Hop’ course, conducts research for his thesis and explores hip-hop’s history, culture and role in academia. The film centers on the emerging significance of incorporating hip-hop studies into academic curriculum and spotlights the scholars and musicians at the forefront of preserving 40 years of hip-hop culture. Interviewees include Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Kendrick Lamar, Young Guru, Dr. Mark Anthony Neal, Phonte, Dr. Marcyliena Morgan, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Ab-Soul, Rapper Big Pooh, and DJ Premier.
The event will begin at 6 p.m. at Alloy Studios (5530 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15206). The Hip-Hop Fellow will screen at 8 p.m. The festival will continue through August 1st. Tickets are $10 for the first night, $15 for the second night, $20 for an all-access festival pass. All tickets are available for purchase at Eventbrite.