Jun 1, 2017

#NJLive2 Presented by @GStateHipHop (a Recap by @RamseySaidWHAT)

Rodney Coursey (founder of GardenStateHipHop.com)
Let's take a trip. This time to uncharted territory. From Newark you have take 78 to parkway south. No diss but you have to go south of Plainfield once in awhile to the place you think doesn't exists, Central Jersey. Take Exit 102 and go east. It's a straight shot to the place you want to be. Look familiar? You probably spend every holiday weekend around these parts for the bars and the beach. Welcome to a place with a historic music scene, Asbury Park. It's the hometown of Wendy Williams, the house built by the Boss Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi but on the 31st of May, the home of Garden State Hip Hop.

“Asbury Park is known for its rock ‘n’ roll roots, but Garden State Hip-Hop will bring awareness to a growing hip-hop scene at the Jersey Shore.” Rodney Coursey(to the Asbury Park Press)

Standing Room Only at The Saint in Asbury Park
For just ten dollars you could have been a part of history. The Saint was packed like sardines. Before even seeing the bill I immediately knew that Joe College had to be on the lineup if you're doing it at the shore. I've seen College perform a few times and if you listen to him he has a smooth nonchalant but braggadocio to him. Nothing about his performance was nonchalant this past Wednesday. I did this only to find out he was headlining the event and he did just that. He performed some oldies but goodies but mixed in some new tracks like All I Want and You Think I Didn't but I Did featuring Shelsie. Along with Avery Rose Puryear, Solo For Dolo, New Star, Dane the Beautiful Monster, and OFFTOP, Main Street in AP was buzzing. Each act lent their voice, beat, and talent to make this a vibe you won't soon forget. As the show progressed every act just kept getting better and better. When it was Joey's time to step up to the mic I must admit I was worried. He still found a way to appease the crowd and somehow steal the show. I must say it was an incredible task to upstage all the really, really dope acts that went on before him. Coursey calls him the best act in the shore and probably one of the best in the tri-state. Bold words. After this performance I must say I agree. There's been so much growth since he first hit the scene, his sound, the subject matter, all of it. Dude even blessed us with a live band which in my opinion makes any set 100 times better.

Joe College performing with Qwik at The Saint in Asbury Park
I sometimes like to think myself of a historian of the genre especially around these parts. What I've saw and experienced firsthand was that this general vicinity just wasn't ready for hip hop and the unfortunate stigma attached. With that being said I'm still amazed at the turnout for what happened on an overcast Wednesday night at the shore. It was a night of many firsts. I don't think I've ever seen that many women at an underground hip hop show EVER. Besides, this is May, not July and not the weekend. I'm not sure if you get it. NJ Live 2 was a monumental event. This is bigger than just a hip hop show. This is the door open for the culture to flourish live and in stereo, front and center. So it's root, root, root for the home team. So salute to one of the good guys and gatekeepers, Rodney C. Shoutout to the Garden State Hip Hop crew, DJ Ronnie Rayz for spinning and everyone that brought hip hop to the seven trey deuce. One day we'll all remember it was at The Saint where it all began around here. If you weren't there you flat out missed out. It's been a long time coming and something tells me it won't be the last time we bring waves to the waves.
Jonathan C. Ramsey
Jonathan C. Ramsey

Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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