Best Concert Series - 2011
In summer 2010, a street-level consortium of local players — including SoFla swag supplier Last Rights, Fort Lauderdale producer Numonics, the C9 family, and Miami rap crew ¡Mayday! — drew up a mission statement ("Combine South Florida's best up-and-coming hip-hop talent with the best up-and-coming national talent") and launched the Rising monthly concert series. They were attempting to rally the 305's independent operators, club hustlers, and studio thugs. In effect, it was a scene-wide call to arms. And the first order of action was a July showcase at Wynwood's EZ Street Gallery starring Young Jeezy signee Freddie Gibbs alongside a few of MIA's finer mike manglers. Another gallery gig with Curren$y came next. And then the Rising took up residence at Transit Lounge, bringing heavy hitters such as Co$$, N.O.R.E., and Freeway to the Brickell bunker's back-yard stage. But no doubt the Rising's most major coup was its December concert at the University of Miami with Wiz Khalifa, the skinny, tattooed Pitt city rapper who only a couple of weeks later was named The Source's 2010 Rookie of the Year. The OJ was spiked. The weed was sweet. And the rolling papers were free. After exporting its brand to SXSW in March, though, the consortium took three months off to regroup, re-up, and reorganize. But June 17, the Rising returns. One change: The series has left Transit, shifting a few blocks south to PAX. Otherwise, the mission remains the same.