Somewhere buried in Atlanta last weekend was hip-hop’s most known unknown event, the Jack Da Juice Hip-Hop Music Conference, billed as the unofficial update to the legendary Jack the Rapper conferences of the ’90s. These How Can I Be Down-style networking conventions all but died out in the 20th century after one too many shook hotel executives from Atlanta to Miami got squeamish about their family resorts being taken over.
The Twelve Hotel in Atlanta’s posh Atlantic Station had no worries with their Jack Da Juice guests though. The conference didn’t pull in the thousands they anticipated—a few hundred passed through, with limited celebrity appearances. On Saturday, JDJ got blessed by appearances from Amanda Diva, Jacki-O (who pledged support for Remy Ma and talked about working with former rival Trina), Bonecrusher and Midwest legends Crucial Conflict. Still, the main draws like T-Pain, Akon, and Fabolous were nowhere to be found.
It’s fair to say JDJ got drowned out by the thousand other black events in ATL that weekend: the BET Hip Hop Awards, Def Jam’s concert at Morehouse’s Homecoming, and Louis Farrakhan’s Hip-Hop brunch, just to name a few. T.I.’s arrest didn’t exactly help publicity. Not to mention, the “Taste of Atlanta” was going down right across the street, probably drawing more people away from JDJ than vice versa. Still, JDJ organizers are planning additional events next year in Tokyo and a return to Atlanta. Next year, they may want to consider finding a weekend when nothing else is going on.