The Empire Fulton Ferry State Park played host once again to the 5th Annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival this past Saturday (June 20), celebrating hip-hop culture through performances. Family fun took place in Dumbo, Brooklyn in front of hundreds of fans young and old. Despite the on and off downpour of rain, the event still went on without a skip on the turntables.
Smif-N-Wessun, one of the main acts to hit the stage opened up with some of their classic joints, including “Sound Bwoy Bureill” and “Bucktown”. They also performed “I Love You (Remix)”, which got the crowd open and ready for the next headliners. Buckshot took to the stage next with “How Many MC’s” sans Black Moon, followed by Brand Nubian with their hits “Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down”, crowd favorite “Slow Down” and “All For One”. J. Period came out to perform “Brooklyn Dodgers 2” with the group as well.
Midway through the gala, surprise guest Black Thought came out to perform his own rendition of “Brooklyn Go Hard” with the crowd focused and hanging off each word he sparred. DJ Premier then hit the turntables and spun a few classic Gang Starr cuts like “Dwyck” along with Nas’ “Nas Is Like” and other records he’s scratched for. As the evening progressed there were a couple Mayoral candidates making the rounds through the crowd trying to make their Hip-Hop presence. Bill Thompson came through flashing his pearly whites and snapping pictures with fans.
The evening progressed with Styles P hitting the stage bringing Lox cohort Sheek Louch on to assist. He performed his verse on Akon’s “Locked Up”, along with “I Get High”, “We Gon Make It” and Sheek’s “Mighty D-Block (2 Guns Up)”. Shortly after, one of the night’s most anticipated performances went down, when Dead Prez hit the stage with records from their newest release Pulse Of The People, dropping on June 23rd. Their set wrapped with “It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop”, which was a second highlight of the evening for the crowd.
Pharoahe Monch closed the night with his hits “Oh No” followed by “Simon Says” which midway through the performance was interrupted when he was told it was time to wrap it up. The news was met with several boos from the crowd but Pharoahe ran the song back once more and gave the night a proper end. Overall it was a night any hip-hop enthusiast would have given two thumbs up; rain and all.