Hip-hop, R&B, dance and spoken word will be featured at the fifth edition of Abu Unity Fest, an event in Newport News that's intended to entertain while also encouraging local youth to choose creativity over drugs and violence.
Organized by Newport News rapper LaTonya "Abys" Denson, the festival will take place 1 p.m. to sunset on Sunday, Aug. 26, at King-Lincoln Park.
Performing at the free festival will be Double XL, Block Huggaz, Come Up Boyz, Triumph & Munee, Reality Muzik Group, Travesty, T Dubb, Cordova, Pusha, Philly, Trigg, K.J., Ice Cold Coola, Capitol Q.B. and Zigg Madison.
Also, Teens With a Purpose will give a spoken-word performance. Authentic Signature Step & Dance team will show off its skills. DJ VA Black will help set the mood throughout the afternoon.
One of the highlights of the afternoon is likely to be Triumph & Munee, a Newport News rap duo who earlier this year were featured on BET's "Wild Out Wednesday."
Abu Fest was launched in 2006 as a memorial for Quincy Navall Jones, a Newport News rapper killed in a 2003 shooting at the Ridley Place public housing complex. Jones, whose rap name was Abu, recorded as a solo artist and as part of the group BorNaturals.
He was also the father of Denson's oldest daughter. "We started this to have something positive to remember him by and to get kids coming up under us not to go in that direction," Denson said. Abu Fest didn't take place in 2009 and 2011 due to lack of funding.
It's back this year, though, and Denson sounds as enthusiastic as ever.
"We're just trying to celebrate the lives of our youth and give them something positive to put their energy into," she said. "We want them to see that you can vent out by writing poetry, dancing, by turning to the performing arts instead of negativity in the streets."
Here's a press release about the event:******************
The Abu Unity Festival has returned to King-Lincoln park, Sunday, August 26, 2012 from 1 p.m. to sunset!
Back at it again, LaTonya “Abys” Denson, is uniting the independent artists throughout Virginia to come together and celebrate love, life, peace, and the Arts with the Youth of the Hampton Roads. The Abu Fest is a free to the public event that provides food and activities, while delivering a message of individuality, peace, and unity to spectators as they are entertained by home-grown talent nurtured and developed right here in Virginia.
The event started in 2006 and has been giving back to its VA communities ever since. If you would like to learn more please visit the official Abu Unity Fest website: www.abuunityfest.com for more information on the purpose behind the Abu Unity Festival. You can also follow us on Twitter: @abuFest, LIKE Us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/abuunityfestival, or contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org (757-528-8131).
Teens With a Purpose with be displaying their poetic talents along with a special performance from the Authentic Signature Step & Dance team! Guest speakers will also be delivering words of inspiration throughout the show as well. Music will be provided by DJ VA Black along with live performances from some of Virginia’s Indie musicians:
Come Up Boyz
Munee & Triumph
Reality Muzik Group
Ice Cold Coola