It is in some ways music festival by committee — so large is the organizing body of St. Louis' best showcase of local hip-hop. As S.L.U.M. Fest expands, so too do its ambitions, which now it involve visitors from out of town and a dedicated awards show. Together, those two accomplish remarkable goals. The traveling acts strengthen the overall quality and lend the festival credibility, and the awards serve to canonize a group of artists who otherwise see little shine for their yearlong grind. It's an ironic acronym — S.L.U.M. — because its respect for the St. Louis hip-hop scene is equal to penthouses, not gutters.
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