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DATE: THU 23RD + FRI 24TH NOV 2023

TIME: 10AM - 6.30PM


COST: From $59 - $349

Food: Catering will be provided for morning and afternoon tea, as well as, lunch.

Paying homage to the Past, living in the Present and paving the way for the Future.

The conference is set to take place on November 23 and 24 at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre, offering a dynamic platform for insightful discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities. Industry insiders, thought leaders, and creative visionaries will converge to share their expertise and visions for the future of HipHop culture.

The conference will focus on celebrating HipHop’s storied legacy and the genre's contemporary vitality. The event will provide a deep dive into HipHop's significant influence across societal domains. Simultaneously, we will blend reflection and vision, addressing pivotal discussions from understanding ego's influence on artistic and industry growth, to the consequences of erasing history, and the evolutionary trajectory of HipHop culture.


DOBBY (Artist, Musician, Producer, Composer, Educator)

DJ D (DJ, Radio Host)


Annabelle Herd, Diola, DJ D, Dobby, Dr Alethea Beetson, JK-47, Julia Robinson, Malek Sukkar (Gunsta), Maxine Johns, Maya Jupiter, MC Trey, Michelle Grace Hunder, Mistery, NOFUSSRUSS, Nooky, Raygun, Rhianna Patrick, Serwah, Simone Amelia Jordan, TAITU'UGA, Tiana Canterbury and more.


Draft conference schedule, subject to change at any time




9.30am - 10am: Registration and morning tea

10am - 10.30am: Welcome to Country and Smoking


10.30am - 11.20am

First Things First: First Nations HipHop Focus

A spotlight on the rich and vibrant world of First Nations HipHop, from exploring the cultural significance of storytelling, to what it’s been like growing up with HipHop and its role as a medium for social and political activism. This conversation will set the tone for the two-day event, exploring intergenerational connections, family ties, influences, culture, and truth telling, as well as the vital role of history documentation. 


Speakers include Flewnt, Inkabee (Rapper) and Penelope Towney (Change Maker, Towney Time).



11.30am - 12.20pm

Untold Stories: The Importance of Historical Awareness and Milestones in HipHop

This discussion emphasises the significance of historical awareness and milestones in HipHop's global journey as it arrived on our shores and proliferated across the nation. It shines a light on champions and unveils some of the missing pieces in our history, shedding light on pivotal moments that have shaped the localised culture and communities within it. Gain deeper insights into HipHop's historical context, its defining milestones, and its enduring influence.


Facilitator: Maxine Johns (Author, Publisher, HipHop Educator & DJ, MHP Publishing)



Ebony Williams

Malek Sukkar aka GUNSTA (Manager, Producer & Director)

Mistery (B-boy, Graffiti Writer & Emcee)

NoFussRus (Pioneer Hip Hop Activist, SYD DEF JAM)

Thorn (Underground Artist & Community Service Provider, Last Minute Productions)


12.30pm - 1.20pm

The Evolution & Future of HipHop

HipHop is one of the most influential cultural movements of our time. Discover how creatives and the industry are innovatively pushing boundaries and making things happen. We take a look at the ever-changing landscape of HipHop, its current global reach, the ever-changing terrain, and future prospects and breakthroughs like HipHop's inclusion in the 2024 Olympic Games.


Facilitator: L-FRESH The LION (Artist & Producer, Village Boy Entertainment)



Adelle Robinson (Festival Producer, Fuzzy)

Nooky (We Are Warriors)

Raygun (Lecturer, Macquarie University + Bgirl, Vanguards of Style/143LSF, AusBreaking Crew) Serwah (Artist/Musician, Wrath Studios)


1.20pm - 2pm: Lunch 


2pm - 2.50pm

Intersection of Creativity & Commerce: The Delicate Balance between Artistry and Industry.

This thought-provoking panel delves into the intricate dynamics that creatives must master when operating in commercial spaces, balancing the preservation of their creative integrity with the demands of a profit-driven industry. Our exploration encompasses the industry in its entirety, its operational processes, and the ever-evolving landscape of creative-commercial interfaces. We'll also evaluate the impact of commercialisation on the authenticity and cultural significance of HipHop, while shedding light on industry initiatives aimed at accurately representing the culture. Additionally, we'll delve into the growth and development of artists as they progress through various stages of their careers, examining the industry's ongoing efforts to rectify past misrepresentations.


Facilitator: Urthboy 



Annabelle Herd (CEO, ARIA)

Michelle Grace Hunder (Photographer / Film Producer, Michelle Grace Hunder Photography)

Tiana Canterbury (Choreographer & Self Belief Specialist)


3pm - 3.50pm

From Streets to Global Stages: The Trajectory of the Music Industry and HipHop Movement in the Asia Pacific Region. 

This panel delves into the interconnected ecosystem, bridging local and regional perspectives. Discover the current landscape, key locations, emerging trends, growth patterns, and future prospects that are shaping the HipHop movement throughout pockets of the Asia Pacific region.


Facilitator: MC Trey (Hip Hop Artist & Advocate, Tapastry)




Mafae Belasco (US/PH) (Mafae Management Consultancy)



3.50pm - 4.10pm: Afternoon tea


4.10pm - 5pm

Beats of Renewal: The HipHop-led Surge in Language and Cultural Reclamation

Discover the power of HipHop and its growing impact, particularly over the last five years in reference to language and cultural renewal. This conversation showcases diverse ways in which HipHop is fostering enthusiasm in youth to learn and how it is at the forefront of cultural connection and intergenerational dialogues. Witness the movement making language cool again, conversations between generations about words, and the shift into the commercial space, including mainstream festival programming that allows us to listen to someone in their native tongue.


Facilitator: Rhianna Patrick (Journalist, Broadcaster & Audio Content Creator)



Jade Kenji

JuBen (FJ) (Artist, VT1S)

Sprigga Mek (PNG)


5pm - 5.15pm: Daily Wrap Up

5.30pm - 6.30pm: Live performances 




9.30am - 10am: Registration and morning tea


10am - 10.50am

How Global Issues Impact Locally

One of the most unique aspects of HipHop as both a genre and a culture is the immediacy with which artists respond to their environment. Whether through music, spoken word, rap, dance, or graffiti, HipHop provides a platform for critiquing social and political conditions, resonating with people worldwide as a means of expression and a gateway to broader support networks. 

From revolutions, to war and genocide, we'll explore the ways in which HipHop responds to and reflects global issues. This session delves into the cause-and-effect of incidents around the world and how they translate into the community and the impact they have on our artists, industry, how they impact or fuel the way in which we work and everyday life. 


11am - 11.50am

Media's Dance with HipHop

Together industry professionals, journalists, and enthusiasts will delve into the ever-evolving positive and negative role media plays in shaping narratives, representation, and impact on HipHop culture. Our discussions aim to deepen understanding of how media platforms have influenced the growth and global reach of HipHop. We'll explore topics such as the genre's portrayal in mainstream and social media, the power of social platforms in amplifying or censoring voices, and the challenges and opportunities encountered by the HipHop community in navigating the media landscape.



Andrew Montell (Founder & Director, Acclaim Magazine & Complex AU)

Mawunyo Gbogbo (Author & Journalist)

Maya Jupiter (HipHop Artivist, Artivist Entertainment)

12pm - 12.50pm 

HipHop & Migration: Journey of Bridging Worlds and Shaping Identity through HipHop 

Join our panel and immerse yourself in the compelling stories of artists and creatives who have discovered their true home in HipHop. Each speaker shares a distinctive migrant journey, offering powerful insights into how HipHop has served as their guide to self-discovery, a sense of belonging, and a platform to shape their unique identities.Through their experiences, this conversation reinforces the profound impact of HipHop on both personal and collective identities. It serves as a poignant reminder that the culture's transformative power through music, dance, and art has the ability to bridge divides, nurture unity, and shape a better world.


Facilitator: DIOLA (Events Curator, DJ & Content)



DOBBY (Musician, Rapper & Composer)

Ruby Ibarra (US/PH)

Simone Amelia Jordan (Author, Journalist & Mentor, Higher Ground Consulting Agency)

Taitu’uga (Samoan Talking High Chief, Artist, Producer, Performer, Actor & Cultural sharer, Kitchener Wesche)


12.50pm - 1.30pm: Lunch 


1.30pm - 2.20pm

Cause & Effect: The Interplay of Ego, Cultural Shifts and Structural Change

This stimulating conversation delves into the big picture and complex dynamics shaping the world of HipHop. The panel highlights unique and necessary improved ways of operation, while unpacking the broader ecosystem in which both the artist and industry operate in, and how unchecked egos can hinder growth and maintain gatekeeping practices.


Facilitator: Dr Alethea Beetson (Creative Director, Blak Social)



JK-47 (Rapper)

Nina Agzarian

Ninakaye Taane-Tinorau (Music Managing Director, Tikidub Productions Ltd)

Soju Gang


2.30pm - 3pm

A Time to Celebrate & Innovate: 4ESydney Marks a Decade and Announces What's on the Horizon

As we look to the future, it's time to highlight what's to come. This conversation will be used to officially announce and discuss a series of exciting initiatives and partnerships, some of which have been years in the making and will set the tone and direction for the next five years. These developments are in celebration of 4ESydney's upcoming 10th anniversary in 2024 and will serve as a platform to showcase the beginnings of the collaborative work and the interconnected relationship between some of our key partners.


Facilitator: Turkan Aksoy (NSW Welcoming Cities Coordinator, Welcoming Australia)



Alicia Talbot (Manager Arts and Cultural Development, Blacktown Arts)

Lisa Havilah (CEO, Powerhouse)

Vyvienne Abla (Director, Artist Manager & Creative Producer, Vyva Entertainment & 4ESydney)


3pm - 4.10pm

Blueprint for Progress: Collaborative Roundtables on Artistry and Advocacy

This interactive session provides an inclusive platform for attendees to actively shape upcoming opportunities, programming, and advocacy strategies. It's a dedicated space for generating innovative ideas, unpacking issues and collective solutions. Participants will have the chance to share experiences and insights while contributing to the progression of HipHop, our local scene, and industry sustainability.


The roundtables topics include:

  1. Over Policing

  2. Western Sydney Ecosystem 

  3. Red Tape 


Facilitators for the session

Julia Robinson (Head of Policy and Advocacy, ARIA)

MC Trey (Hip Hop Artist & Advocate, Tapastry)

Lee Monro

L-FRESH The LION (Artist & Producer, Village Boy Entertainment)

DOBBY (Musician, Rapper & Composer)

Music NSW


4.10pm - 4.40pm: Afternoon tea and conference wrap up

4.40pm - 6.30pm: Networking event, Meet & Greet with Ruby Ibarra

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