The fifth annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival went down this past Saturday (June 20) at Brooklyn Bridge State Park, offering a showcase for East Coast vets and indie favorites to rock, and rap purists to embrace.
A long list of New York MCs like Styles P, Pharoahe Monch and dead prez, took to the stage throughout the eight-hour event. Forced to take place under a tent because of the rain, the weather wasn’t the only surprise at the show. The audience of a thousand-plus fans was graced with unannounced appearances by hometown favorite O.C. and The Roots front man Black Thought, the latter of whom was brought out by Styles for “Get Busy.” The D-Block MC highlighted his 20-minute set with the rousing track “I’m Black” and finished it off with “We Gonna Make It.”
Highlights from headliner Pharoahe included “Oh No” and the show-closing smash “Simon Says.” Midway through the finale, event organizers cut the Queens rapper short, citing time issues but backed by the crowd in protest, Monch finished his anthem in full.
Over the course of the day, dead prez took to the stage with Green Lantern manning the turntables, launching into material from the newest LP, Pulse of the People, as well as the classic, “Hip Hop.” DJ Premier, Grand Puba, Smif-N-Wessun, Marco Polo and Torae, and Donny Goines also performed, among others.
Since its inception, the festival has risen in popularity by offering by-donation ticketing despite having almost an entire day’s worth of hip-hip on hand. -Devin Chanda
Photographs courtesy of Adrian Fernandez. Click on image to enlarge.