Starting with an emphasis on artistic progression, the festival opened with performances by young people. These young performers, varying from middle school to high-school, reminded audience members the beauty of what happens when you give a child a chance to express themselves creatively. With the help of programs like Urban Art Beat, the New York City youth is able to have the chance to learn, understand, and appreciate the core of hip-hop and intertwine it with their own lives. Transitioning from youthful dreams to young artists, “Show and Prove” winners, Kydd Jones and Audible Doctor, opened up the show for the major players.
If you missed the festival, one thing that I know you did not miss was the blogs going crazy about Jay Electronica’s surprise guest, none other than Brooklyn native, Jay-Z. Wes Jackson, president of Brooklyn Bodega, said “A year ago I put into the air that I wanted to bring the three Js to BKHipHopFest. A year later we did it. Never stop believing in your crew.” Who are three J’s you are wondering? We have Jay Electronica, Jay-Z, and the beautiful J.Cole. RocNation was definitely in the building on July 12th. Alongside the three J’s were Talib Kweli and Mac Miller. CJ Fly’s, from Pro Era, set followed next and then G.O.O.D Music’s Cyhi da Prince. The audience was well aware that this was a day to celebrate true lyricism in hip-hop culture. To end the night off right, none other than the Chef himself performed. He brought out the viral sensation, Bobby Shmurda (aka the guy who does the schmoney dance) to let the hip hop world know that New York City rap is back. His set also included guest performers such as AZ, Masta Killa, Papoose and Troy Ave (who performed his latest summer hit “My Style” that is featured on our Spirit of Summer Playlist).
Hip Hop is more than just the music. It is a culture that brings many people together. Whether it is through fashion, graffiti, turntablism, breakdancing, or emceeing, hip hop continues to strive and remain fresh.
By: Raven Irabor