Sometimes good music makes everything better. That was the case this rainy Saturday in Brooklyn’s Empire Fulton Ferry State Park. Hip-Hop might have started in the Bronx, but there’s never been a more vibrant core of hip-hop exceptionalism than Brooklyn. Even though it was down pouring, tons of true hip hop fans were piled inside the tent ready to be taken to hip-hop nirvana. And the 5th Annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop festival certainly did not disappoint. To put it in simpler terms, BHF is the conscious hip-hop fan’s equivalent of Summer Jam.
The landscape of hip-hop might be changing with all this auto-tune nonsense, but there are still MCs who give you real hip hop, straight no chaser. This year, the festival was once again hosted by music-video pioneer Uncle Ralph McDaniels. The festival featured a well-balanced line-up of seasoned veterans and hungry, talented rookies: Smiff n Wessun, Dead Prez, J Period, DJ Premier, Pharoahe Monch, Grand Puba, Styles P & Sheek Louch, Tanya Morgan, Tiye Phoenix, Black Thought of The Roots, Homeboy Sandman and Torae. ALL the artists performed brilliantly. Not once did I feel like leaving early or going for a walk until next performer came on.
Rain aside, overall, the show was outstanding, even though it had a lull or two, which were few and far in between. The set changes were pretty swift and the crowd somehow managed to maintain and elevate its energy over a period of a little over four hours. The good music prevailed and made this years festival another great success. So, those that planned on coming and didn’t make it out because of the rain, you missed out!