Fresh Fest has been a big hit at Portsmouth's nTelos amphitheater in recent years. The festival celebrating old-school, '70s and '80s hip-hop returns in August for what should be another big party for those of us who use the phrase "back in the day."
This year's edition will feature Kurtis Blow, Salt-N-Pepa, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, and MC Lyte.
According to Ticketmaster, tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, April 13. They'll cost $35.80 to $68.85.
Go here to read a review I wrote of the 2010 Fresh Fest.
Here's the media release issued today.
FRESH FEST 2012
(SALT-N-PEPA, MC LYTE, SLICK RICK, KURTIS BLOW, & BIG DADDY KANE)
COMES TO NTELOS WIRELESS PAVILION
Saturday, Aug. 18
Portsmouth, Va. – Fresh Fest 2012 comes to nTelos Wireless Pavilion on Saturday, Aug. 18. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m.
By the late '80s, hip-hop was male-dominated, which made the emergence of Salt-n-Pepa so significant. As the first all-female rap crew (even their DJs were women) of importance, the group broke down a number of doors for women in hip-hop. They were also one of the first rap artists to cross over into the pop mainstream, laying the groundwork for the music's widespread acceptance in the early '90s. Salt-n-Pepa were more pop-oriented than many of their contemporaries, since their songs were primarily party and love anthems, driven by big beats and interlaced with vaguely pro-feminist lyrics that seemed more powerful when delivered by the charismatic and sexy trio. Salt-n-Pepa defied expectations and became one of the few hip-hop artists to develop a long-term career.
MC Lyte is one of the most prolific and well respected female hip-hop artists in history. She has consistently found exciting ways to reinvent herself musically, while expanding her resume and gaining new fans. The Grammy and BET Award nominee has released six highly acclaimed CDs. She also appeared as herself on on television as herself on such shows as MTV Unplugged, In Living Color, Moesha, New York Undercover, My Wife and Kids, and Sisters in the Name of Rap.
Exposed to the hip-hop beats and music scene in the Bronx, Slick Rick began making a name for himself by competing in and winning nearly every MC battle contest he entered. He finally hit the jackpot at a MC contest in Harlem, where he attracted the attention ofDoug E. Fresh, who was garnering his own attention due to his ability to imitate drum machines and various special effects.
Striking up a friendship,Doug E. Freshand Slick Rick released the history-making, single “The Show and La Di Da Di” in the summer of 1985. With Fresh’s beatbox and Rick’s smooth lyrical delivery, the duo nearly single-handedly transformed rap. His debut CD, “The Great Adventures of Slick Rick,” hit #1 on Billboard and became one of the first hip-hop records to sell a million copies.
Kurtis Blow is one of the founders, creators and most recognizable success stories in recorded rap history. He leads the new generation of rappers with his street sense, social criticism, and commercial savvy. Blow was the first rapper to be signed by a major label, the first to have a certified gold record for rap (“The Breaks”), the first rapper to tour US & Europe (Commodores, 1980), the first rapper to record a national commercial (Sprite), the first rapper to use the sample loop, created the first rap music video (basketball), was the first rap producer (Rap's Producer of the Year in 1983 and 1985), and was the first rapper featured in a soap opera (“One Life to Live”).
Emerging during hip-hop's massive creative expansion of the late '80s, Big Daddy Kane was the ultimate lover man of rap's first decade, yet there was more to him than the stylish wardrobe, gold jewelry, and sophisticated charisma. Kane possessed a prodigious rhyming technique honed from numerous B-boy battles; he could also be an Afrocentric consciousness-raiser versed in the philosophy of the Nation of Islam's Five Percent school, or a smooth urban soul crooner whose singing was no match for his talents as an MC. While he never scored much pop-crossover success, his best material ranks among the finest hip-hop of its era, and his sex-drenched persona was enormously influential on countless future would-be players.
Tickets are on sale at through all Ticketmaster outlets, including online (www.ticketmaster.com) and by phone (800.745.3000). Orchestra tickets are $59.75, tickets in the Gold Circle are $39.75, and general admission lawn seats just $29.00, including service and facility fees. There is a $3 discount on Gold Circle and lawn tickets with military ID. Present your AAA Membership Card at the nTelos Wireless Box Office or any Ticketmaster outlet and receive $3.00 off Gold Circle & lawn tickets. Discounts cannot be combined.
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