If there’s ever a question of how to put 50+ artists and media into a compact space and have them get along peacefully, the answer’s quite simple. And if a follow-up question is posed about how to pack a couple of hundred entertainment-hungry fans into that same, already filled space, the answer will remain the same.
You give them sports, specifically basketball. Even more detailed, you invite them to Hoop & Hang.
For the third time in a row, we managed to get together with homies and friends for our friendly, but highly competitive three-on-three tournament held at SXSW. And, to be completely honest, the whole event couldn’t have gone any smoother.
After weeks and months of planning, my Friday felt like “let’s just get this done. I’m tired of thinking about it.” All of the scheduling accommodations, staffing, gathering of supplies from sponsors can take their toll. By the Saturday morning of the event, I woke up charged and ready and, when I got to the Pan-American Center, I was greeted by a whole pack of friends – some old, many new – who were ready to do the same.
As far as the final outcome, it couldn’t have been scripted better. On one side stood rap’s “it” guy, Trinidad Jame$ and his team of three and, on the other opposing side, there was Texas’ own Killa Kyleon and co. Both teams were posed of newcomers to Hoop x Hang, guys who reached out and expressed an interest in playing. And when the teams got down to the final two, these squads were left. Before the game, announcer Chas Moore asked each MC/team captain to make a prediction and both declined. Yes, two rappers – the kind of people who in general won’t shy away from an opportunity to brag – both turned it down.
Instead, each artist took the opportunity to reiterate two key points: brotherhood and fun. Right then, we could’ve closed up shop, seriously. For three years, those two concepts have been the driving focus of the event ever since HardKnock TV’s Nick Huff and I dreamed it up. Everybody competes and the games get testy and loud. But at the end of the day, it’s all daps and pounds and new bonds and alliances formed. Lines of communication opened between artist to artist, media to artist, etc.
Who won? The game itself came down to the very last shot in a game of 15, scored by twos and threes. To see the outcome, watch the footage below, shot by Anthony A and edited by Ian Stewart of V6M Productions.
But walking away from Saturday, I’d say everybody who stepped foot in the gym won in some way.
Thanks To The Competitors: Tryna Function (Bamani, Da Man, Clyde Carson, Problem, Drumma Boy), Team Vada (YO, Devin, King Vada), Funk Volume (Dizzy Wright, SwizZz, Dame), SoSouth (B-Ham, Dawid, Z-Ro), Chi-troit (YP, Ro Spit, Vic Lloyd), AL-2 (Dutchington, Vince, AL-2), The Force (RT-FaQ, DJ Trackstar, Tech Supreme), Team LEP (Dash, Count, Moonie, Crook, STL, JeVon), Team RA (Dutch, Ryan Hobbs, Adam Fleischer), Gold Gang (Trinidad Jame$, Genesis, Mr. Ross, B.A.), #RunIt (Killa Kyleon, Jacque, Propain), Team Dimplez/TSS (DJ Spintelect, Dee-1, Beware), Team Monster (Richie A., Martin G., Dustin R.), Team Hustle (A Kid Named Breezy, PUSH!, Hustle Simmons)
Special Thanks: Everyone who came to “hang,” the DJs – DJ Dontizl, Chas Moore, DJ Spintelect and Wally Sparks – who held down the sounds and thanks to Monster Energy Drink for keeping everyone hydrated.