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Nine Pillars Hip Hop Cultural Festival Concludes with Block Party

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Break dancing is one of the nine pillars of hip-hop. Break dancing is one of the nine pillars of hip-hop.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

A festival that aims to unite people in Charlottesville through the art of hip-hop is back for a second year.

The Nine Pillars Hip Hop Cultural Festival finished up on Sunday with a block party in IX Art Park. 

"Our festival is focused on the nine pillars of hip-hop: DJing, MCing, breakdancing, graffiti art, beat boxing, street knowledge, street language, street fashion and street entrepreneurialism trade and business," said Cullen Wade, director of the Nine Pillars Hip Hop Cultural Festival.

The day kicked off with performances, DJ battles, and break dancing. This year, organizers also dedicated a night of the festival to remembering victims of Aug. 12. They say hip-hop is rooted in multiculturalism and that Charlottesville is a community full of both culture and activism.

But they also add that hip-hop hasn't necessarily been welcomed here in the city. According to organizers, a few noise complaints from nearby businesses have already been received. 

"We as a hip-hop community have been short changed for a long time,” said Cullen Wade, director of the Nine Pillars Hip Hop Cultural Festival. “We get shut out of venues, we get people who have misconceptions about us and our culture and what it is that we do.”

Organizers say that the festival gives people in Charlottesville the chance to learn about the art of hip-hop as well as celebrate it.

They also say that IX Art Park is unique since the park is surrounded by low income communities of color, but hip-hop performances don't often happen here.  

"We have so many festivals here especially in the spring, but we never had one that was for us," said Wade.

The festival concluded at 8:00 p.m. and, while hip-hop isn't as popular as organizers would like, they promise this year's festival won't be their last.

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