The 16th annual Trinity International Hip Hop Festival comes to Trinity College Thursday, March 31, through Sunday, April 3, 2022, with rapper Dave East headlining the Main Concert on Saturday night. An extensive lineup of lectures, workshops, panel discussions, and film screenings will be part of the weekend-long academic study of the music and culture of hip hop.

Trinity International Hip Hop Festival main posterThe festival is free and open to the public.

Trinity College student organizers note that the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival aims to unify Trinity College, the city of Hartford, and the globe, bringing together people to celebrate different cultures through hip hop music, dance, visual arts, and academics. This year, the festival will champion the theme, “What is Legacy?” and ask, “What is its meaning and importance to the Hip Hop community?”

Please see the schedule for all events, times, and locations.

Among the weekend’s highlights, opening the festival on Thursday, March 31, is David Spellmon, author of Just Like Music: Social Emotional Learning Inspired by Hip Hop, whose presentation will take place from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Mather Hall’s Rittenberg Lounge.

Thursday evening will include a series of hip hop dance workshops between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in the Trinity Commons Performance Lab, TC 125.

On both Friday and Saturday, there will be live graffiti mural painting from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at various locations in Hartford (please see the schedule for details).

Trinity International Hip Hop Festival Trinity Til Infinity student posterOn Friday evening, the popular Trinity ’Til Infinity All Styles & B-Boy/B-Girl Showcase & Battle will take place at Trinity from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. in Mather Hall’s Washington Room, with the dance exhibition and battle co-hosted by TangSauce and Machinegun Poptart, with music by DJ Stealth.

Also of note, the festival’s annual Youth 4 Change Conference will be Saturday from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Trinity’s Gates Quad. Hosted by Prynce Eli, the event will feature Da Alphabet, Tahijawuan, Magic Soul Drumline, Hartford’s Proud Drill Drum & Dance Corp., and Studio 860 Dance Company.

Trinity International Hip Hop Festival Dave East
Dave East headlines the Main Concert at the 16th annual Trinity International Hip Hop Festival.

The Main Concert will take place Saturday, April 2, 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., in the Washington Room of Trinity’s Mather Hall. (Photo ID will be required for Trinity students to attend the concert. Proof of vaccination will be required for non-Trinity guests to attend the concert.) Preceding the set by Dave East, there will be performances by artists Ric LaFlaree (CT), Hydro (CT), Bocafloja (Mexico), Lost Tribe (CT), with DJ Host DJ Boo (Philippines/USA) and host Santiago.

To close out the festival on Sunday, all day there will be a Retrospective Gallery on the second floor of Mather Hall, and from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. a Get Up Live Free Wall Graffiti Exhibition, open to all artists, will take place at Heaven Skatepark in downtown Hartford.

Follow the Hip Hop Festival on Instagram: @trinityhiphop

COVID-19 Safety Protocols: Members of the public who attend indoor events are required to wear a mask and be prepared to show proof of vaccination upon arrival (physical card or photo of card). COVID-19-related updates are posted on Trinity’s website here.

About the Festival

The Trinity International Hip Hop Festival, founded by Trinity students in 2006, is the largest festival of its kind in the United States. The festival continues to be organized by students in association with Nomadic Wax, Temple of Hip Hop, and Notable Productions. Past performers include OSHUN, Taylor Bennett, MC Lyte, Rakim, DJ Kool Herc, Talib Kweli, Brother Ali, dead prez, KRS-One, Grandmaster Caz, K’Naan, Jean Grae, Blitz the Ambassador, Comrade Fatso, Les Nubians, Sam the Kid, and many other national and international hip hop artists and academics.

Support for this year’s festival was provided by the following Trinity College departments, offices, and programs: the American Studies Program, the Anthropology Department, Austin Arts Center, the Career & Life Design Center, the Center for Caribbean Studies, the Center for Hartford Engagement and Research, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Economics Department, the English Department, the Film Studies Program, the Department of History, the Human Rights Studies Program, the International Studies Program, the Language and Culture Studies Department, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Philosophy Department, the Political Science Department, the Office of the President, the Sociology Department, the Student Government Association, and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Program.