It’s that time of the year again: Art Basel Miami Beach. Sultry and sun-kissed Miami Beach is a handy cure for the pre-winter blues, and Art Basel is home to the most exciting modern and contemporary works visiting galleries from five continents have to offer. It’s the perfect place for some stimulating conversation about the state of the art world—plus, the parties totally fuck.
This year, VICE is thrilled to be able to contribute to the fun with Not A Test, three days of carefully curated (and free with RSVP!) programming about the future of hip-hop, the genre that’s always thrived on experimentation and the cutting edge. In partnership with Art Basel, Not A Test takes place November 30 until December 2, with events daily and nightly at Miami Beach’s palatial Carl Fischer Clubhouse.
Expect panels and roundtables moderated by Kimberly Drew, the luminous curator, critic, activist, and co-editor of the anthology Black Futures; afternoon dance parties with DJs from across the globe; blowout performances from hip-hop innovators steering the genre; plus, a reflection on all the pioneers who brought us here in the form of Inflection, an immersive, experiential piece by visual artist and composer Timeboy that explores the impact of pressure on hip-hop culture.
Here’s how to make the most of what we have lined up.
Take notes from the “Women in the Movement”
When: November 30, 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Women are the unsung heroes of pretty much everything, including hip-hop. That’s why this conversation between three women of color, each forging a path for herself in the hip-hop space, is a must-see. Moderator Kimberly Drew will lead a conversation between artist Aya Brown, whose 2020 portraits of essential workers were a love letter to the resilience of Black women; Kristen White, a director and photographer who has shot commercials with Serena Williams and Mary J. Blige and snapped portraits of Pharrell Williams; and Suzi Analogue, the creator of Never Normal Records and a multi-hyphenate musician whose tracks seamlessly blend rap and electronic music for a sound that’s all her own. After the panel, Drew will be available to sign copies of Black Futures until 5:00pm.
Get the party started with Donovan’s Yard and Smino
When: November 30, 8:00pm to 11:00pm
Kicking off Not A Test’s Noisey Nights series, LA-based DJ collective Donovan’s Yard will heat up the dance floor—they opened for Jorja Smith’s LA tour stop this summer, they’re set to play Coachella 2023, and A$AP Rocky, Rihanna, and Tyler the Creator have all been spotted at their previous events, so you know they’re lit. After that, get ready for a headliner performance from singer and rapper Smino, the St. Louis native whose third studio album Luv 4 Rent dropped in late October.
RSVP for the concert here.
Eat up with Ghetto Gastro
When: December 1, 3:00pm to 5:00pm
Food is a bedrock of culture, something the three co-founders of Ghetto Gastro know better than most. The Bronx-born culinary collective does more than just cook unbelievable food: They use their platform to carry on the gastronomical traditions of the Global South in a way that’s healthy and conscious of class, race, education, and how all of these things impact what we cook and why. In October, Ghetto Gastro co-founders Jon Gray, Les Walker, and Pierre Serrao released Black Power Kitchen, part cookbook and part celebration of Black culture as a whole. Drew will moderate an hour-long conversation about the future of Black food, followed by a tasting and a book signing.
Vibe out with Noisey Scene Reports
When: December 1&2, 1:00pm to 7:00pm
If you’re on the hunt for a midday dance break or feeling claustrophobic in the Miami Beach Convention Center, look no further—on Thursday and Friday, Noisey Scene Reports is bringing in a cadre of up-and-coming DJs from around the world to spin through the afternoon and into the early evening. Expect to hear tracks you’ll have to Shazam as the DJs uncover different layers of hip-hop and trace it into the future for a glimpse at the next few decades of the genre.
No RSVP necessary.
Feel the rhythm with Uncle Waffles + Sudan Archives
When: December 1, 8:00pm to 10:30pm
Hip-hop might have been born in the United States, but its future is international. At the second Noisey Nights performance, presented by Expedia, artists Uncle Waffles and Sudan Archives will showcase the immeasurable influence of African music on hip-hop as a genre. Uncle Waffles is a South Africa-based DJ who hails from Eswatini and helped bring amapiano, the South African house music style, across the Atlantic to American audiences. Sudan Archives is a singer-songwriter and a violinist whose most recent album, Natural Brown Prom Queen, received critical acclaim for its genre-bending, border-blurring sound and sensibilities.
RSVP for the concert here.
Redefine healing with Hip Hop Public Health
When: December 2, 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Music is all about self-expression—and sometimes, that means expressing struggles with mental health issues. That’s why non-profit organization Hip Hop Public Health and VICE are facilitating The Sixth Pillar, a discussion about mental health and health equity in the Black community. On a roundtable moderated by Kimberly Drew, rap legend DMC of Run-DMC, and contemporary powerhouse JPEGMafia will discuss the way hip-hop and the culture that surrounds it can be mobilized to create a more health-conscious, holistic future for community members grappling with PTSD, limited access to mental healthcare, depression, or anxiety.
RSVP for the roundtable here.
Fit check with Styling Hip-Hop
When: December 2, 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Art Basel’s street style is notorious—and hip-hop’s influence on the incredible looks people pull every year is undeniable. That’s why we’re hosting a panel on the future of hip-hop styling, a conversation that’s more urgent than ever now that the high fashion world finally acknowledged the command hip-hop has over the concept of cool. For the final Not a Test Panel, sponsored by Chateau d’Esclans, Kimberly Drew will moderate a conversation between creative director Jerome LaMaar, the mind behind the 2020 launch of Ivy Park x Adidas; stylist and visual consultant Talia Bella, who also modeled in Yeezy Season 3 and 4; and Shannon Stokes, the illustrator, designer, creative director, and stylist who styled Rihanna’s iconic, spike-haired Paper Magazine shoot in 2017.
RSVP for the panel here.