Pete Philly performs at the 2011 Buma R’dam Beats Festival. Photo: Mike Breeuwer
Welcome to Rotterdam. The biggest cities in the Netherlands – Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague – are in Holland. FYI, the country is The Netherlands, not Holland. Holland is just a region of The Netherlands, comprised of a Northern and Southern parts which count as two of the country’s 12 provinces (just a little geography for dat ass).
The people speak Dutch (and English) and you can’t help but to notice there are lots of tall white folk. Amsterdam is the largest city as well as the capital. Ignorant Americans are quick to associate Holland (by way of Amsterdam) solely with legalized drugs and prostitution. If you are one of these people, the Dutch think you are stupid and gross. Amsterdam residents have also never heard of Cannabis Cup, now in it’s 25th year.
Eighty kilometers south of Amsterdam is Rotterdam, forty minutes by train. The city has a steely Pittsburgh kind of vibe, blue collar and often overcast. There is plenty of new construction as the city was bombed-out heavily during WWI and the Dutch have rebuilt with a taste for modern, clean architecture. And guess what, the younger residents love hip-hop, beats, DJ-ing, and graffiti.
Hip-Hop culture as a whole is arguably the most pervasive and influential cultural movement in the history of modern civilization. In celebration of that culture, Buma R’Dam Beats, an international conference and showcase festival, is about to kick off it’s third edition on November 15th, 16th and 17th. With performances by 2chainz, A-Trak, Joey Bada$$, Hudson Mohawke, Machinedrum, Lunice, Full Crate & Mar, workshops from legends such as Roger Linn (creator of the MPC), Cleveland ‘Clevie’ Browne, Riggs Morales (Shady Records), Jon Cohen (Cornerstone/The Fader), Om’mas Keith (Sa-Ra/Frank Ocean) and expert panelists from all corners of the industry (and the globe), this year’s program is a clear indicator that Buma R’Dam Beats is poised to be the leading European platform for hip-hop, r&b, soul, reggae and dubstep among other respective sub-genres. It is also the best opportunity to discover and network with the top music acts and entertainment entities coming out of The Netherlands.
Amsterdam-based music streaming site 22tracks (very nice design) has created a playlist of the artists who will appear at the festival. Go to the official web site www.buma-rotterdam-beats.nl to get the full download as well as information how to reserve your tickets and hotel rooms.