Boasting arguably its biggest headliner to date, former A Tribe Called Quest front man Q-Tip, the fest didn’t disappoint in delivering show-stealing surprise guests as advertised. While acts like Lords of the Underground, Kendrick Lamar and M.O.P. performed on the fest’s two stages, the Brooklyn crowd speculated on the tricks Tip had up sleeves. Will Busta Rhymes make a cameo? Will Phife Dawg pop up to solidify talks that he and Tip are still cool?
Tip got off to a slow start, performing songs like “Verses from the Abstract” and “Ride” before bringing out Monie Love for “Buddy.” Tip followed up by bringing out Black Thought of The Roots for the band’s “Ode to Hip-Hop (Love of My Life)” and “Next Movement” before offering up Tribe staples like “Bonita Applebum” and “Electric Relaxation.”
Tip’s set quickly went from dope to epic when Busta Rhymes surprised the snuck up on stage for a riotous performance of his classic verse on “Scenario” followed by a rendition of his tongue-twisting rhyme on Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now.” The festival appeared to be all but done when Kanye West, ironically sporting a snap back hat backwards and a jersey reminiscent of ’90s Phife Dawg, took the stage to perform “Dark Fantasy,” “Can’t Tell Me Nothin’” and “All of the Lights.” Yeezy and Busta then stayed on stage to support Tip’s seemingly show-closing “Award Tour.”
Tip returned to officially close things out with “Can I Kick It” and “Vivrant Thing” after letting the crowd beg for encore for a few minutes. Though fans were left wishing for a Phife appearance, the final minutes of Tip’s set lived up to the hype. —Carl Chery
[Check out photos from the event here.]