Platform 3 Hip Hop Festival – Sydney

When I came across the words “free” and “hip hop festival” I was in. I went to the Platform 3 Hip Hop festival in Redfern, Sydney of all places to dig deep and figure out: What is Hip Hop?

As free festivals go I wasn’t disappointed. They hadn’t missed out much either covering the various areas of the multifaceted phenomenon that is Hip Hop. There was live tagging demos and various competitions from popping, breaking and beatboxing.

What was particularly impressive is how they managed to turn it into a family event. What was particularly amusing was little kids sitting on a tiny drawing table doing tagging. There were people of all ages and all types of backgrounds. Despite popular belief Hip Hop is accessible. Anyone can appreciate the immense talent that was on display from the MC’s, beatboxers, graffiti artists, musicians, DJ’s and incredibly athletic dancers.

I think the highlight of the day was on the main stage when they called out all the breakers in the audience to show off their best moves, winner takes all. “Takes all” being a shed load of respect and a Nintendo Wii. Wow did they deliver. It’s one thing to see this type of thing in a movie but to be in the crowd with a couple of hundred other gobsmacked spectators is something else.

So what did I learn? What is Hip Hop?

Hip Hop is rap, soul and blues. It’s RnB, Funk and Poetry. It’s a Sex Machine or the dirt on Jay-Z’s shoulder. It’s a lifestyle and a language. It’s the guy spinning on his head in the street or Snoop in his escalade. It’s a fashion and cultural communication. It’s a voice, an expression of oneself. It’s intricate and yet so simple. It’s an attitude, a feeling and an individual fighting the man.

Hip Hop is…

… whatever you want it to be.


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