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If Shakespeare was hired to write a hip hop sonnet, what would he have said? We speak to Festival Organiser Nick Power as he reveals the mysteries of hip hop in Sydney.

This is a four-week festival packed full of activities. How did you ever put it all together? Well, firstly, I’m part of a great team. CarriageWorks does an amazing job producing the festival. I had to dig deep into my little black book and called up some old friends. I keep an eye out as to who’s making noise on the local street scene.  I also connect with the community leaders who are making it happen in all elements of hip hop culture. A puzzle that’s slowly but surely come together.

Which events are you excited for the audience to see, hear, experience or take part in? Flexing Skills is always a favorite because you don’t know what’s going to happen – it’s totally freestyle. Plus, you have some of the dopest B-Boys, MCs and DJs mixed up into teams and given three topics and five minutes to rock a live set.  We’ve got the crew from Sketch the Rhyme coming onboard this year as well as funk heavyweights, The Resin Dogs.  It’s gonna be a great night!

Why the venue CarriageWorks? When I first walked into CarriageWorks, I was completely amazed and immediately thought you could put on a dope hip hop jam in here.  The crew at CarriageWorks thought the same thing and away we went.  I feel like we’re fully utilising the venue this year.

We hear Shakespeare is making a hip hop appearance. Please explain. Yea, I’m really looking forward to Funk It Up About Nothing. It’s a hip hop adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic Much Ado About nothing.  Chicago Shakespeare produced it and the show features the Q Brothers.  It’s got great reviews from all over the world.

In previous Platform Hip Hop Festivals, which were the most popular events? Freak the Technique is always super popular.  It’s the day where all elements of hip hop are represented and come together as one.  We’ve got a Graffiti comp, beatbox battles and Sydney’s best MCs rocking the mic. On the dance stage, we’ve got popping, locking and breaking battles.  In the evening, we go into the theatre for the finals of the breaking comp with Australia’s best B-Boys and B-Girls battling it out alongside killer DJs and live hip hop acts.  Plus, it’s all totally free!

Who are your top five hip hop local/international acts of all time? I’m going to represent the 5 elements in my answer: Beatboxing – Rahzel, Graffiti – Mistery, MC – KRS ONE, DJ – Grandmaster Flash and B-BOY – Storm.

Mar 12 – Apr 2. CarriageWorks, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh, Free-$35, 8571 9099, platformhiphop.com.au, carriageworks.com.au

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