Initially catching our attention from a well-received Reddit post, the men behind NYC’s first ever House of Hip Hop festival Benjamin Chin & Zaven Embree have been hard at work to put on the truly homegrown event.
In a matter of months the men behind HOHH have pulled together an event that in its infancy was only one night. Initially it was going to be at a venue where 8 bands would be playing in two different rooms. While the idea was lovely the venue of choice opted to not “house” the House of Hip Hop; it was a blessing in disguise.
Since March they have been coordinating the event alongside some help from media friendlies like No smoking media, Cypher league and The Manhattan project. The well curated list of names on each bill is a different adaptation and ode to music. As they say it “fusion is the name of the game.” Whether it is hip hop, jazz, afro Caribbean, indie or soul you will find it bellowing from the stage during House of Hip Hop. The amount of talent and collaborative sounds on each day is noteworthy.
The best part about this whole shindig is more than likely you may have been a part of making it happen. Zaven and Ben took it to the subways of New York City to fund the festival. When you hear music bouncing off the walls of a subway station that’s Busking aka street performing. They make their living off of it in between gigs and they managed to fund the entire festival through that alone. While it is “legal” it is still a form of performance that can be subjected to arrest or police harassment. In many ways most people don’t realize that it’s a nuance that street performers are aware of everyday.
The minds behind House of Hip Hop however have been hard at work and living off of their skill and love for music. Ben only being in New York for about two years has made his living off of playing his music in public. The best part is he is showcasing what he does and doing something that he loves. Zaven also shares in this and heralds the fact that his life is financially sustainable allowing him to be able to work on other projects which he says is a “win-win in his book”.
We get into more detail about the festival, their music and what they hope for the festival. Meet the men behind the music you may have heard on the platform....oh and founders of a festival (NBD) Benjamin Chin & Zaven Embree:
Join the HOHH fam this weekend for the second part of the festival. Info and the line up below:
No Smoking Media Presents: HoHH Day 3
July 8th | Doors: 6:00 pm - Knitting Factory Brooklyn
The Manhattan Project Presents: HoHH Day 4
July 9th | Doors: 7:00 pm | The Kymberle Project