Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball Review


Categories: News


Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball
Sunday, January 20 at 9pm
The Harman Center

Event overview: Again the people have spoken, and The Hip-Hop community once again engaged in voter registration efforts around the country and effected change. Hip-Hop has a voice! Lets celebrate civic engagement, political power and presence once more, recognizing the continued momentum of the Hip-Hop community to stay engaged. The 2013 ball is a black tie event with performances and awardees. The event will take place on January 20 at the Harman Center and is hosted by Russell Simmons’s Hip-Hop Summit Action Network and Philanthropik.ORG.


The Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball was definitely one of the more popular events to attend while in town for the Inauguration. The event received the most response and feedback on our facebook and twitter pages and we received the most email inquiries from questions regarding this event (ticket prices, how to volunteer, etc.) Tickets were $500 per person (not the most expensive ticket for a gala over the weekend) but it was pretty expensive — and people paid the ticket price to attend since it was in such high demand.

The Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball also took place in 2009 for the Presidential Inauguration and received pretty good feedback from what we hear. The Red Carpet began at 7:30pm, however media could arrive as early as 6:30pm to begin setting up — the red carpet closed at 9pm. Sunday was the main event for several galas so I wanted to make sure that I arrived on time for the red carpet. Logistically Sunday was a challenge since metro wasn’t really an option to use when traveling downtown (time delay), so I drove into the city with a goal of parking in a central area so I could navigate back and forth between Gallery Place and 14th and K Street where all of the events I would attend tonight were located. Heading out at 6pm from Northeast DC would allow for plenty of time to arrive at the red carpet by 7pm. Traveling into the city wasn’t too bad since I was traveling a bit early but there definitely was traffic and some challenges navigating around since road closures began that day (7th street and 9th street closures).

I arrived at the red carpet at 7pm and was surprised to see the red carpet located outside and not inside The Harman Center. I proceeded to media check in and went to the red carpet and talked with several other media outlets as we were waiting for celebrities to arrive. Some media had been on the carpet since 5pm since media credentials were available beginning at 4pm.

Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball
(The Harman Center)

The schedule for the red carpet and show were running a bit behind, so red carpet didn’t start until approximately 8pm. InaugurationEvents.com was placed at the front of the red carpet to get a better view of guests as they came in. I was very impressed with the list of media present to cover the event which included: Naacp.org, The Root, Buzzfeed, Washington Post, Olive CoCo, Global Grind, The Grio, Washingtonian, Essence, Jet Magazine, Sister 2 Sister and more (an estimated 200 media outlets represented!)

Photos from the red carpet:

Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball

Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball

Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball

Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball

The red carpet ended around 9:15pm and InaugurationEvents along with other media media were allowed inside to get photos from the main event. To stay on schedule with the event lineup for that day, I proceeded to another event close by – The Pre-Inaugural Event at Carmines on 7th Street. I then returned to the Harman Center for the Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball After Party.

I really enjoyed the after party event since it was after the program had finished and to me this is when the real party begins. It was great to see so many legends in the hip-hop community and have a chance to chat with them about the event.

I really liked the layout of the Harman Center. Two main levels with different rooms and a VIP reception room that was also very festive with it’s own DJ, open bar and food available.

Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball
(DJ from VIP Room)

Hip Hop Inaugural Ball
(Main view from the second floor)

Spotted were Swizz Beatz, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz, MC Lyte, Dikembe Mutumbo, Victor Cruz, La La Anthony, Terrence J and Doug E. Fresh.

Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball
(Doug E. Fresh on the mic)

Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball
(Andrea Hardison and Tyson Beckford)

Overall I enjoyed the event and it was great running into friends Beverly Backus (fellow UVA alum) and Andrea Young (AFRO American Newspaper). Great food, great music and great people made this a successful event!

The Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball event and pr by The Aba Agency. Congratulations Aba Kwawu on a great event!


Reception/red carpet: B+
Entertainment: A
Professionalism of Staff/Hosts: B+
Logistics and organization of the event: B+

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