The Jersey Fresh Jam held its 16th year at TerraCycle Inc, hosting various hip-hop activities from breakdancing to a rap stage for Trenton artists to perform and using the building canvas for various Graffiti artists to put work out in the world.
“Since 2005, the event has grown from a small, humble event into one the most respected celebrations of Hip Hop culture on the east coast.” The website explains. “At the twilight of every summer, aerosol artists from far and wide converge to adorn the walls of TerraCycle INC with their signature masterpieces, while local and regionally known emcees, bands, and DJs provide the soundtrack for the day’s festivities.”
Leon Rainbow, a well-known artist and founder of the Jersey Fresh Jam, explained that it’s invite-only for the artists, but all are welcome to come and enjoy the festival.
“It’s kind of invite-only…as far as participating,” Rainbow said. “We try to present the best graffiti artists, MCs, DJs, and break dancers from this area, all the way up from DC, [to] Virginia, Philly New York, [and] all over New Jersey. We had artists out here from Texas, so you know we really tried to present the best-skilled artists that we have.”
The festival was rained out Saturday, though Sunday saw crowds of people and artists attend and participate in the events. Derrick Goal, an artist from Delaware, explained that this event is for everyone. “Even if someone doesn’t know anything about graffiti, I don’t think anyone is going to have a bad time here. I think you are always going to be impressed by the work that is done,” Noel said.
A breakdancing competition was hosted where the winner receives 800$, as well as music artists were able to hand out their CDs to listeners to gain a following from the event.
Rainbow explained that graffiti artists are professionals chosen purely for the skill, keeping within a long-held craft tradition. “When I came up in hip hop, things were kind of different, where you had to prove yourself. You had to do a certain amount of work in the street, but you also had to get to a certain level before you were accepted to be a part of an event like this, and then that’s we try to keep that tradition going.”
Trenton Health and St. Francis Medical Center helped sponsor the event and handed out COVID-19 vaccines to those who wanted to receive the vaccination. The next event will be in August of 2022.