On August 11, 1973, at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, the alleged birth of hip-hop in the Bronx came. 43 years later on August 11th, 2016 at 6022 Broad Street, a revival of hip-hop in Pittsburgh came once again. The revival arrived on Thursday during the first segment of 1Hood Day, an annual hip-hop festival hosted by 1HoodMedia.
The free but donation welcome festival held at Repair the World Pittsburgh, showcased local young rappers, singers, dancers, poets, activists and speakers, all united under a mutual love for hip-hop.
The celebration of music and culture also provided food and drinks, and opportunities to purchase 1Hood and other merchandise of other local brands like DRIPP Clothing.
One of the local singers featured was Naomi Allen, who has been with 1Hood Media for around a year. Encouraged by her friend, Allen joined the organization to further expand her strong passion for performing.
“I feel like for many people performing has been an outlet. It brings people together and allows people to have a sense of family.” Allen said.
In addition to the rappers and singers, like Allen, the show spotlighted speakers representing local associations.
Tyra Jamison, a member of local activist collective Turn Up for Freedom or T.U.F.F, spoke about the goals of the organization, “Our mission to create a network among black students and youth.”
T.U.F.F’s previous collaborations with 1Hood and inner circles led her to become more involved and interested in their work.
“1Hood has increased its presence in all things in Pittsburgh, through education, art scenes and national platforms, it shows Pittsburgh in its best light,” Jamison said.
One of 1Hood Media’s goal is to unite the community and raise awareness of social justice issues in Pittsburgh through the art and work of its young residents. One of the facets of art utilized is music, specifically genres like hip-hop and rap.
‘It’s a vehicle for social change, music is one of the main things we can agree on because we can connect on so many ways,” 1Hood Media organizer and teaching artist Jacquea Mae said.
1Hood holds workshops, and performances surrounding prevelant social justice issues like battling the negative portrayals of hip-hop and people of color in the media.
These workshops including Why is New Media Essential for Marginalized Communities and Race, Gender, and the Power of Hip Hop.
Mae began with the program as a volunteer and in a year has become committed to the organization’s focus on youth as future leaders.
“The youth always push me and inspire me to do much more and to be more and I love to work with them. It’s so important to give them the opportunity to be their own leaders,” Mae said.
Youth in the program are encouraged to use their voice and talent to generate music and art that unmask their voices and feelings and most importantly, tell their stories.
In the future for 1Hood Day, Mae hopes to introduce “more collaborations, more work, more music, and more business.”
For those interested in 1Hood’s mission and goals, Mae advises to check out OneHood.org, and their presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Snapchat for events and updates. “We have a lot of opportunities for people to get to know us and we want to be open for individuals who do,” Mae said.