New Jersey has long been an epicenter of Hip-Hop culture. From Naughty by Nature to the Fugees to Wu Tang Clan. Hip-Hop culture is still alive and well thanks to groups like Moxie 1973 and their founder Juels Pierrot. At the beginning of April, Moxie 1973 brought together some of the best talent pushing the culture in Jersey to a cathedral in Jersey City. The event showcased each pillar of Hip-Hop culture in spectacular fashion. It was a sacred Saturday in a cinematic setting. For 12 hours the hall which once held mass for the religious, celebrated the religion of Hip-Hop.
Leading up to the event we got a tastes of what was in store with three events called The Road to Juice. We got an intimate view of what drives featured artists like Eni, DJ Midnite, Kevlove and Mr. DT201 during the screening of Testimony at Cafe Sole. The second leg of the trip went down at the Clearport for a DJ battle with legends DJ Midnite and DJ Rydeout. The final event for The Road to Juice brought us back to Cafe Sole for an open mic night showcasing the immense talent beyond the hype in this city. In all the The Road to Juice was a beautiful experience celebrating music, video, photography, storytelling, MC’ing and fashion in Hip-Hop. It splendidly set the stage for the main event.
I arrived mid–afternoon to Cathedral Hall ready to catch some of my favorite Jersey artists like PeteyXKraze, Eni, Moruf and more. Vendors lined the isles and artists captured the praying stations. It was a surreal scene. Mr. DT201 displayed canvases to the right and street photos by Abib Ascencio to the left, as artists rocked the pulpit. The music amplified through the steeple, sending off beautiful vibrations all afternoon. TrapDan and Friends shook the halls with an energetic attack from all angles. Young Flizo spat scripture-like bars. Newark’s Chad B spoke to the crowd. Twondon celebrated in true black bar mitzvah form. Jersey City’s PeteyXKraze, JayHype, Mateo Ahki and King Tjay celebrated the cities excellence and showcased the amazing collaboration out here. Kissin’ in the Dark singer Eni shined through the crowd. Kevlove, DJ Midnite, Stragglife Scott, DJ Dyce, and DJ Shy held down the 1’s and 2’s.
The night was especially special as we celebrated curator Juels Pierrot birthday. His vision of sharing the gospel of Hip-Hop came together in beautiful fashion. He successfully brought together a passionate group of people to celebrate the blessings of Hip-Hop in our daily lives. The man is a legend in the making. His vision, execution and love for the craft is admirable. Stay tuned for more major moves from him. Catch more of his work this summer at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival in July.
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