SALT LAKE CITY – The Urban Arts Festival is months away, but on Friday organizers revealed the headliner for the two-day event.
Charles Stewart, aka Chali 2na, will be the main attraction at the 8th annual Urban Arts Festival held at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City on September 15 and 16.
Chali 2na is the famous hip hop artist from the group, Jurassic 5.
“I’ve been working on this for four years,” Urban Arts Festival Director, Derek Dyer, said. “Not only does he have some really fun, positive, intelligent hip hop as a musician, but he’s also a visual artist.”
Stewart embraced the hip hop culture growing up in Chicago. He painted, danced and was a DJ. When he moved to California in the 1990’s, he would rap with friends at a café in south central Los Angeles.
“It was a shelter for rappers who didn’t do gangster rap,” Stewart said.
The group would later become Jurassic 5.
“When people say you guys are alternative rap, I’m like alternative to what? We are hip hop!” Stewart said.
Chali 2na is eager to come back to Salt Lake City where he’s performed many times over the years.
“We use to play in the Urban Lounge a lot. It’s a beautiful city. Beautiful fans.”
He’s excited to share his experiences and inspire others to express themselves through art.
“It’s definitely important to try to provide opportunities for people that are coming up behind you. I want to be able to give back.”
The festival will showcase 150 local artists, music and dance performances, a fashion show, 3-on-3 streetball competition and a big emphasis on live painting.
Chali 2na will also be one of the featured live painters.
For more information about the Urban Arts Festival, click here: