This past Saturday, the 5th annual Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival went down, bringing together some of rap’s most established vets, as well as upcoming and talented rookies. The lineup included acts such as dead prez, Styles P, Pharoahe Monch, Smif N’ Wessun, DJ Premier, J Period, Tanya Morgan, Torae, a special surprise appearance from Black Thought of The Roots, and many others.
To many fans the event is considered conscious Hip Hop’s form of Summer Jam or Rock The Bells and fills the void that the latter events have somewhat neglected, many feel.
"We do it every year because we really feel that Hip Hop needs it” said Executive Director Wes Jackson to LiveSteez.com. “Unless you’re playing Summer Jam or Rock The Bells, there’s really no place that showcases your progressive artists or quality old-school or quality local guys and female artists. For conscious and progressive Hip-Hop, this is the biggest venue that we got and we almost feel like this is our duty to make this thing happen.”
Although the heavy rain may have dulled the mood temporarily, it did not prevent countless fans from attending the eight-hour event, which was held under a tent. Festival attendees watched D-Block member Styles P perform “Get Busy” with Black Thought, while headliner Pharoahe Monch performed widely recognized songs such as “Oh No,” and “Simon Says,” and dead prez shared the stage with DJ Green Lantern performing “Hip Hop” as well as new material.
M-1 of dead prez said of the event, “[The Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival] is where we battle the police and party in peace. We’ve done it all there and cut our teeth in that community and Brooklyn has supported us for years and we’ve helped build with it and help continue this kind of relationship and this festival is in the same spirit of everything else that we do in our way. It’s giving us the opportunity to holler at our folks who we haven’t seen in one summer or so and put our RBG (Revolutionary But Gangsta) on.”
Tickets for the festival were donation-based, and according to the BHHF website, virtually all of the artists performed for free.
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