Photography By: Steven Lau (@SLphotographies)

The Brooklyn Hip-Hop festival returned for its ninth year from July 10 to July 13. Starting as a small acknowledgment of all things hip-hop, the festival has grown enormously every subsequent year. There have been plenty of memorable moments due in part to the bigger lineup of performances. Take for instance, last year’s headliner Busta Rhymes that reunited with his former Leader of the New School comrades. You also can’t forget the surprise performance by Q-Tip and Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest. Just in case you needed a reminder, Brooklyn Bodega continues the tradition of making history.

This year’s festivities were held at Brooklyn Bridge Park at Pier 5. Keeping its allure as a more underground “Rock the Bells,” the lineup featured some of the borough’s standout up-and-comers. MCs such as Dillion Cooper, DyMe-A-DuZin and Danse held their own impressive sets, while out-of-towner Dizzy Wright exceeded the high expectations. Chances are you already know Redman, EPMD and Pusha T, but it’s the way the festival bridges the gap between old and new that’s the icing on the cake.

XXL ventured to New York’s cultural hub of hip-hop and we weren't let down. From Lil' Fame’s scene-stealing performance to Redman igniting the crowd, we’ve assembled the best moments from the festival. See you next year, rap fans.—Eric Diep, Chisom Uzosike & Imani McIntyre

1. Dizzy Wright Brings Las Vegas To Brooklyn

Sin City’s own Dizzy Wright gave the Brooklyn stage just the energy it needed. With high confidence and one mean set of dance moves, the XXL Freshman performed various fan favorites including, “Man In the Veg,” and “Solo Dolo.”

2. Spike Lee Makes Surprise Appearance

To delight of all present, legendary film director and Brooklyn ambassador Spike Lee took the stage to give his blessing to the day's festivities. Of course, Spike would not leave the stage without declaring his eternal loyalty to the New York Knicks (not the Nets).


3. Adam “MCA” Yauch Is Honored With Tribute By DJ Enuff

Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys is one of Brooklyn’s legendary figures. DJ Enuff took some time out during the festival to pay a special tribute to MCA. He spun some of the Beastie Boys’ iconic tracks, as well as honored him with a moment of silence. It was a special to see MCA get recognized for his contributions to the culture of hip-hop. Last year, MCA passed away after a three-year battle with salivary gland cancer.

4. Redman Gets Up-Close And Personal

Redman put the perfect exclamation point on an exciting and energized performance by getting up-close and personal with the crowd to perform "Da Rockwilder". Although Method Man was not in attendance, the crowd did more than an adequate job holding Redman down.


5. DJ Scratch Steals The Show

During their performance, EPMD decided to turn back the hands of time, and take us back to an era where DJs ruled hip-hop. Who better to take center stage than DJ Scratch, one of hip-hop's most revered icons. Eric and Parish stepped aside to let Scratch steal the show. Scratch did not disappoint, treating the crowd to an incredible display of turntablesmanship.


6. Lil' Fame of M.O.P. Performs "Ante Up"

DJ Scratch dazzled the crowd with his record-chopping abilities. First, he chopped Eve's "Let Me Clear My Throat". Next, he decided to throw on M.O.P.'s "Ante Up". Moments after the needle dropped on the record, the crowd roared as Lil' Fame of M.O.P. stormed the stage to give a quick surprise performance.


7. New School Respects Old School

As EPMD performed their set, Pusha T could be seen right in front of the stage taking in their performance. The G.O.O.D. music star momentarily let go of his celebrity status to be a hip-hop fan like the rest of the crowd, bobbing his head and rapping along with the legendary duo.


8. EPMD And Redman Perform "Headbanger"

With both EPMD and Redman in the building, everyone knew it was only a matter of time before they shared the stage to perform their classic posse cut, "Headbanger". Finally, after much anticipation from the crowd, EPMD brought Redman onto the stage again. Unfortunately, K-Solo was not in attendance to perform his verse. EPMD and Redman, however, took it back to 1992 flawlessly.

9. Pusha T, My Name Is My Name

Whether he’s grindin' with the Clipse or creating his own G.O.O.D. Music, one thing’s for certain-Pusha T knows how to move a crowd. After coming from back stage to enjoy EMPD’s set, Pusha T took the stage as the festival’s closing act. Not only did he perform his newest single “Numbers on the Board” off his anticipated solo release My Name Is My Name, Pusha also took the crowd down memory lane with his verses from the ’02 smash “Grindin,” and various tracks from his mixtape archives. Virginia’s own warned the crowd that his solo drop would be the hottest release of 2013. With a year of great albums and a performance like that, Pusha is guaranteed to deliver us a banger.