Busta Rhymes and friends make history at 2012 Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival

Photo Credit: Robert Adam Mayer

This past Saturday was the final day of the week long 8th annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival.

The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, for those of you that don’t know, is an annual festival put on by Brooklyn Bodega to celebrate, not only music, but the entire hip-hop culture. Last year the format was expanded from a one day music festival to one full week of showcases and forums reflecting and effecting hip-hop

The festival started with the Brooklyn Bodega’s Show & Prove competition featuring performances by Evitan(Dres fo Black Sheep and Jarobi of A Tribe Called Quest, Reks, 1982 and Freeway. Tuesday included symposiums with veteran music writer Nelson George, sound engineer Young Guru and publisher of Akashic books Johnny Temple.

Thursday featured a collection of documentaries for the event’s Indie Film Screening curated by the film makers themselves. The three screenings were Egypt Through The Glass Shop by Anyextee, The Infamous Mobb Deep documentary by RBMA/Rooster NY and Nelson George‘s critically-acclaimed documentary Brooklyn Boheme. George’s film chronicles the artistic prevalence among African Americans in the Fort Greene and Clinton Hill areas of Brooklyn during the late 1980s-early 1990s. A great week for hip-hop heads overall, especially those from Brooklyn.


Busta Rhymes hit the stage on Saturday and brought along alot of friends. The biggest moment came when Busta and Leaders Of The New School reunited after 20 years. Also making appearances were Lil Fame, Buckshot, Smif-N-Wessun, Slick Rick, Reek Da Villian and A Tribe Called Quest.

With the stage always facing the Manhattan skyline and the audience watching, these grassroots events produced by the Brooklyn Bodega have gotten bigger in each of the last eight years. But as growth has come, the authenticity and purpose has remained strong – a positive event to celebrate Hip Hop’s roots and embrace its future. While festivals have become commonplace, to see Sacramento, California, rapper Chuuwee and Busta Rhymes share the same stage on a given afternoon is crucial to believing that skills level a playing field, and good music rises to the top.

If there is one word to describe the whole event, powerful would be it. From last years star-studded festival with Q-Tip and Kanye West, to this year with Busta reuniting the Leaders of the New School, only one question remains: how will they manage to top this next year?