It was a big weekend for Detroit hip-hop. The inaugural “J Dilla King Of Detroit Beat Battle” was held on Thursday, March 10 at the Artist Village. Eight producers (Blizzard the mad scientist, Kortez Ilajide, Street Gang, Brave Soul, Mr. Demented, Rich Hustle, The Davis Way, and Tru da Truth) participated in a bracket-style head-to-head beat battle that saw Kortez Ilajide prevail as the winner. Dilla’s mother (affectionately known as Ma Dukes) helped judge, and New York producer Pete Rock was a featured performer.
“It was a great turnout,” says Uncle P, who hosted the event. “It was amazing to see Ma Dukes smiling the whole evening with everybody that touched that stage.” The event was sponsored by Ma Dukes, The J Dilla Foundation, Street Vibes, and DetroitRap.com.
Then, on Saturday, March 12, the Live from the Streets show took place at Detroit’s Fox Theater. A shirtless Sada Baby performed alongside 100 of his closest friends, Icewear Vezzo performed an energetic set, and the show’s headliner, Chicago native Lil Durk, closed out the night.
The most anticipated show of the weekend was The Tied in 313 Day Concert that occurred on 313 Day, Sunday, March 13, at the Garden Theater. The night featured more than five hours of performances by the likes of Peezy, Payroll Giovanni, Babyface Ray, Paris Noel, Front Paije, Skilla Baby, Pretty Brayah, Jugg Harden, and about 20 other artists.
“It’s a good look for the city. All the fans got to see who they wanted to see,” says Peezy.
The show was presented by Active Minds and AFLN, and sponsored by cannabis companies Viola Brands and 3Fifteen. —Kahn Santori Davison