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Jump Around!: Hip-Hop Hooray for St. Pat's Day

Saint Pat's in Five Points is scheduled to go down this Saturday, March 16, two days after I turn a wonderful yet uneventful 47 years of age. As I think back on my experience at Columbia's largest music festival, I am reminded that in the presence of all good things perseverance is key, and that ideas of any kind are bigger and better through collaboration.


Ten years ago, Ben G and I broke through as the first local Hip-Hop artists to play a St. Pat's official stage. At the time, it didn't register what us being a part of the official 2014 lineup meant for Hip-Hop as well as the local music scene as a whole. In the moment I was relieved to finally be named to the coveted list of artists, primarily for ego's sake. A week before the St. Pat's performance, I played two sets in Austin, Texas at SXSW. Though that would've been the highlight for many independent musicians, mine, however, was St. Pat's in Five Points.




Fast forward to 2019, when my good friend and St. Pat's talent buyer Trae Judy gave me a buzz in late December, excited and full of possibilities to ramp up the level of entertainment and inclusivity for the upcoming St. Pat's festival. He introduced an idea that I had something to bring to the table outside of a standard performance. Trae bragged about what I'd done with my career as an independent artist, founding my own successful music festival (Hip Hop Family Day) and how I intergrated music, education and community in my work with Love, Peace & Hip-Hop.


MASTER SPLNTA with Trae Judy. Photo: The Foto Bros, LLC.

Since 2014, I'd played St. Pat's several times, but I could tell from his voice Trae was considering something different altogether. We went back-and-forth about what that could look like, and ultimately settled on keeping the vibes natural.


"You rock parties," Trae said. "Now, what do I need to do for you to rock the St. Pat's party all day?"


Never an easier question has been asked of me.


"Two turntables and a microphone!" I replied.


And just like that...I was re-introduced to the St. Pat's audience in a new uniform as the festival's official Host and MC!


2022 St. Pat's in Five Points Fountain Stage. Photo: The Foto Bros, LLC.

For the past two years I've enjoyed my role as Festival MC. The Fountain Stage, where I primarily do my damage, is mixed with all ages, colors and music genre preferences, but somehow in the midst of all the differences we party hard using only one measurement to gauge the outcome: the jam factor. Meaning, as long as bodies are moving and voices are raised, we don't care which song instigates the response.


From my coveted spot on stage 10 years ago as their first local hip-hop performer, to my unique POV now as Host and Festival MC, I've witnessed St. Pat's evolution into a festival for everyone. And I have to say, it's been powerful to see how this Columbia institution hasn't just grown bigger every year, but it's also grown better. I'm returning for my third year as Festival MC this Saturday and bringing my Hip Hop Family Day crew with me for the 42nd annual St. Pat's in Five Points.



As one of the largest St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the Southeast, Columbia, SC's St. Pat's in Five Points will feature more than 40 local, regional, and national acts across multiple stages and venues, including performances from Lawrence, The War and Treaty, Futurebirds, Sister Hazel, and Conner Smith, making this year' s lineup the most extensive in the festival's history.


Tickets can be purchased online at StPatsColumbia.com.



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