Music City Pays Tribute to Hip-Hop’s 50th Anniversary during Big Bash

New Year’s Eve Concert to Kick Off with Hip-Hop Through the Decades and will Feature Mayor O’Connell as Guest DJ.

NASHVILLE – The live show for Jack Daniel’s New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park will include a 50-minute tribute to hip-hop’s 50th anniversary to celebrate the genre over the decades, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp announced today. Music City Hip-Hop 50 will conclude with a guest DJ set by Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell, who has a degree in music and did a DJ set at Grimey’s record store during his campaign.

The segment will be curated by Eric Holt, managing partner of The Lovenoise Group and assistant professor of Music Business at Belmont University, and Nashville artist Jason Eskridge, along with guest appearances by artists Tim Gent and Daisha McBride. Eskridge will DJ the segment. Kenny Smoov of 92Q will emcee.

“For five decades, hip-hop has not only been a cultural force around the world but has grown and flourished in Music City,” said Deana Ivey, President and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. “As we celebrate the history of hip-hop and Nashville’s own vibrant hip-hop scene, we honor the roots, the rhymes, the creators and the collaborations that have found inspiration in Music City.”

The family-friendly hip-hop segment will kick off at 5:15 p.m. and will conclude with remarks from Mayor O’Connell, as well as a 10-minute DJ set that he will play and mix. Gates open at 4:30 p.m., and the program is free and open to the public. The early-evening segment gives families a way to celebrate the free Big Bash event with children of all ages.

Mayor O’Connell said, “I am excited that this event will highlight the diversity of Nashville’s music scene. Our relationship with country music is historic, but we have such a diverse group of creatives that deserve our celebration. It’s a tough assignment to DJ a set surrounded by truly terrific artists like Jason Eskridge, Daisha McBride and Tim Gent, but I look forward to the challenge.”

The tribute will also help mark the 20th anniversary of The Lovenoise Group, an urban promoter that provides performance platforms for local urban artists and a community hub where black music lovers can come together to experience the power of culture.

Nashville’s Big Bash will feature GRAMMY Award-nominated Thomas Rhett, newly crowned CMA Entertainer of the Year Lainey Wilson and Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Lynyrd Skynyrd as headliners.

The concert is free and open to the public. The five-hour CBS special will air live on Sunday, Dec. 31 at 6:30 pm CT on the CBS Television Network, Paramount+ (live and on-demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers or on demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the special airs).

This will be the 15th annual concert and seventh year at Bicentennial Park.The event will include the famed red Music Note, which will be dropped on a 138-foot tower at midnight to ring in the new year. As a live event, the Big Bash generates as much as $38 million in direct visitor spending and attendance of 200,000, with more than half being local residents.

Big Bash is partnering with the HERO (Homeless Education Resource Office) Program of Metro Nashville Public Schools to support students and their families who are experiencing homelessness.

Music City Hip-Hop 50 is produced by the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. As a TV special, NEW YEAR’S EVE LIVE: NASHVILLE’S BIG BASH is executive produced by Robert Deaton and Mary Hilliard Harrington in partnership with Music City Inc., the foundation of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. The special will be directed by Sandra Restrepo. The annual event is returning to CBS in a new multi-year deal.

Keep up with new details: #NashvilleNYE

Jason Eskridge

Vocal powerhouse turned DJ Jason Eskridge has worked extensively in Nashville, either as a background vocalist or opening act for countless award-winning acts, such as Zac Brown Band, Lyle Lovett, Randy Travis, Jonny Lang, Amos Lee, Keb’ Mo’, Nicole C. Mullen, Marc Broussard, Robert Glasper, Chris Tomlin and Toby Mac. He has also been featured as a guest vocalist on numerous projects as he has traveled across the country and has also taken his music to Japan, South Africa, Amsterdam, India, and England.

Tim Gent

Tim Gent is an artist/songwriter from Clarksville, TN, who has been making a name for himself since the release of his mixtape “Clarksville Nights.” With Gent’s meditative and illustrating lyrics accompanied by his melodic vocals and a charismatic demeanor, he saw success with the release of his first fully-distributed single “Lady America (feat. Drisana DeSpain).” The track garnered heavy attention across many online outlets and charted No. 1 on Spotify’s United States Viral 50. He went on to release a string of singles, gaining more of an online buzz and leading to features from Hot New Hip Hop, Sway’s Universe, UPROXX, The Tennessean, and a full length interview with NPR: World Cafe. Gent released his full-length, jazz influenced project titled “Life Away From Home,” which was featured on Lyrical Lemonade, Hip-Hop DX and 2 Dope Boyz, named Best Hip Hop Project by Nashville Scene and featured in the film The Violent Heart, starring Mary J. Blige. He has opened for multiple major artists, including Nas, Wu-Tang, Rakim, Freddie Gibbs, Goodie Mob, EARTHGANG and Playboi Carti, as well as partnered with Red Bull and super producer Tay Keith for a sold-out industry showcase in Nashville. He signed with Dr. Luke’s publishing company, Prescription Songs. Since signing, he has built a strong track record in TV and film, securing placements on Creed III (MGM), Rap Sh!t (HBO Max), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), Good Trouble (Freeform), Harlem (Amazon), Taco Bell, Frito-Lay (Super Bowl LV), Fox Sports (MLB World Series), and ACC Network. Working with Rx Songs has also allowed him to work with many different artists like Tone Stith, Chiiild, Baby Rose, Joy Oladokun, Trinidad James, and Deante Hitchcock, as well as many songwriters and producers, including Rock Flair, Go Grizzly, Tay Keith, Ron Gilmore and BeatGodz.

Eric Holt

Eric Holt is Managing Partner of the Nashville-based independent concert promotions company, The Lovenoise Group. Holt earned his Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Communications from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School. Considered an expert in branding, marketing and black music, Holt is a regularly sought-after speaker at universities and business groups on topics such as leadership, strategic management, team development and goal setting. He also consults within the entertainment industry on promotion and branding strategy. He served as a board member on Nashville Mayor Karl Dean’s inaugural Music Council and served as an Advisor and Diversity Committee Chair for the Nashville chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Currently, he is the advisory boards of Nashville Public Radio, the Nashville Jazz Workshop and Give-A-Note Foundation.. Holt graduated in the 30th anniversary class of Leadership Music. At the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business at Belmont University he specializes in Copyright Law, Black Music, Live Music Venues, Marketing and Promotions in his full-time role as an Assistant Professor.

The Lovenoise Group

The Lovenoise story began, in 2003 as an urban complement to Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, offering a stage for local urban talent. Two decades later, Lovenoise remains at the forefront of the city’s urban music scene, nurturing ties with premier live music spots and industry influencers, from City Winery to Live Nation. Dedicated to enriching Music City with an urban rhythm, The Lovenoise Group has earned its reputation among aficionados of black music and culture through its event productions. Notable milestones include a groundbreaking partnership with the Nashville Symphony and Nas at Ascend Amphitheater, the sold-out local hip-hop showcase The Underflow at Marathon Music Works with Red Bull, and The Change Up!, a pioneering all-black showcase series on Broadway with Acme Feed & Seed. Lovenoise is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary. Lovenoise is more than just a concert promoter. It is a community hub where black music lovers can come together to experience the power of culture.

Daisha McBride

The moniker that Daisha McBride embraced right out of the gate, The Rap Girl, isn’t an inside-joke nickname or cute handle. (Jewly Hight, NPR) It’s more like a sweeping claim to singularity, which she’s backed up by cultivating a distinct persona and promotional savvy alongside her chops and by playing up her crossover compatibility in the process. McBride has placements in major TV shows on networks including Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BET, MTV, and VH-1. McBride sold out a headlining show at Acme Feed & Seed and currently has a stream worthy new single featuring LVRN’s 6lack titled “Birds.” Featured in the “In Her Element” documentary powered by Queen Latifah’s Queen Collective, McBride has begun showing the world she means business. She was an official music artist for festivals such as A3C, SXSW, Newport Folk Festival, Nashville Pride Festival, Kentuckiana Pride and Tribecca Film Festival. Daisha McBride grew up in Knoxville playing classical violin, but was also influenced by pop, rock and country.

Kenny Smoov

Kenny Smoov is the Vice President of Urban Programming for Cumulus Media and overseas 35+ stations in 25 Markets around the country. He is the host of the Kenny Smoov Morning Show heard daily in Nashville on WQQK and the Afternoon Drive host on Westwood One’s “The Touch” heard in 20+ markets. He is an On-Air/Programming radio veteran with stints in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Industry Awards to his credit include Billboard Radio Personality of the Year (Small Market), Highest Rated Urban Station in America (KBCE, Alexandria), NAACP Image Award, SEA-Program Director of the Year, America's Best Program Directors Award (Radio Ink), Radio Personality of the Year (Tennessean), Best Show Large Market (TEA) and African American Leaders of the Future (Radio Ink). Kenny has hosted the Red Carpet on several national awards programs, including the GRAMMY Awards, American Music Awards, and the Billboard Music Awards. Kenny is a decorated Desert Storm Veteran with six years of military service to his credit with tours of duty in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa.

The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp and Visit Music City

The mission of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp and Visit Music City is to maximize the economic contribution of the convention and tourism industry to the community by developing and marketing Nashville as a premier destination. Visit the NCVC’s website at and follow us on social media @VisitMusicCity.