If you live in Durham, you can’t deny the beauty of the city. The Bull has been growing non-stop in its heights to become a major hub of everything tech, medicine, food and music. The changes in Durham will almost seem unrecognizable to someone who has grown up here. Speaking as a native, I have seen the city I love so much become a staple on lists such as “Best Places to live” and with our newfound celebrity, Durham has seen a vast increase in population… and rent. But along with rent and population increase, Durham is seeing new leaders take part in reviving the beautiful parts about her and establishing The Bull as the one stop shop for everything you need.

Festivals have recently become a… thing… and that’s a good thing. Who doesn’t love a weekend dedicated to the things you love along with food? (Is it really a festival without food?) And this past weekend, Durham shared her spotlight with Hip Hop. The second annual, Beats-N-Bars Festival, took over downtown Durham this weekend and to share in the lingo with the kids… it was lit.

Ever since Hip Hop came onto the scene in the late 70’s, the genre has cultivated the world into a beat ridden machine. Hip Hop and Rap music are a huge part of today’s culture and it goes without saying that the music has managed to bring all walks of life together regardless of race or religion and that statement shares along the line of the mission of “Beats-N-Bars”. The festival is aimed to build stronger community through the influence of urban culture and music. With the hard work done by founder, Crystal Taylor, this festival is aimed for true hip hop heads with artist headlining such as Cyhi the Prince and Nitty Scott with local favorites like The Deeepend, The Real Laww, and G Yamazawa. For a festival to be true to its name, you need people who believe in it and are aimed to making it an experience and not just moment, and with people such as Crystal, Jonathan Harmon and Kyeshia Jennings, they made that impression and more.

This weekend felt like Hip-Hop belonged in the history of Durham. Taylor and company made sure that this festival felt like home to the Bull with 95% of the acts locally based.  This festival is just the beginning. It won’t take long for “Beats N Bars” to become larger than life and contend with the likes of AOC Fest and Moogfest, but the beautiful part about it? It’s not a numbers competition. Each festival has its own flavor, and each festival respects the art of creativity and music by allowing the other to share in the love of NC. As attendees, yes, we will probably be broke, BUT what’s life without a little festival fun?

Beats N Bars was a joy to attend and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for Durham for the years to come.

Enjoy some of the sights and sounds of the second annual, Beats N Bars Festival. (Photos courtesy of A Guy Called Quest):






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