The Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival went down Saturday (July 11) at 50 Kent, New York City’s largest celebration of hip hop culture, the 11th annual event featured performance s from Common, Mobb Deep, Freeway and more. Harlem2Nippon’s guest reporter Erina covered the Fes.
Reported by Erina
Getting closer to the venue on Kent Avenue, loud woofer sound made me high already.
Yeah, outdoor Fes for real! It’s on! New York, baby!
When I got there I saw a long ass line that appeared to be endless. I guess I have no choice but be patient. Finally my turn came and I went through a torturous mandatory body check. The security not only checked my purse and looked inside my wallet but grabbed my boobs and my ass and messed up my head band and ordered me to open my mouth! The couple before me tossed their drinks hurriedly as consuming alcohol in public is prohibited under the NY law.
The place was rather small compare to the many outdoor festivals taken place back home in Japan, but seeing the background with Manhattan’s skyscrapers I felt awesome! I’m in New York, hell yeah!!
People are screaming for Mobb Deep. Damn, they are already on now. I thought I did my homework but the moment I saw them on stage I was brown away and forgot everything I studied about the duo. They were so cool! I couldn’t recognize any of their songs as I was totally exhilarated. The crowd went crazy over 3 particular songs that must have been their big hits. (It turned out songs they performed were “Shook Ones Pt. II,” “The Survival of the Fittest,” and “Quiet Storm.”) Watching old music videos I remember them as young teenage boys and now they so grown but Mobb Deep prove that they’ve still got it.
Next artist coming to the state was Common, so I thought. But I guess not as came somebody I didn’t know. A few other people so called opening acts kept performing for a while. Then the stage was cleared only music was heard. Common was nowhere to be seen. We are waiting for him. We keep waiting, waiting………damn, how long do we have to wait?
Finally MC showed up and introduced again another guests. This time guys dressed in suits and bowties……Are they gonna rap in this ridiculous outfit? Instead they talked about Black Muslim teachings. The way they talk reminded me of Malcolm X. No wonder they sounded so much like Malcolm that they were the members of Nation of Islam.
Ok, the wait is over. The same MC finally announced the main performer, Common! Yeah! Last time I saw him was at night time but it’s still bright outside and I can see his face. He hasn’t changed.
He performed “Testify” and “Go,” from my favorite album Be then “The People,” and “The Food” that made us all sing along. His song “Get Em High” featured in Dave Chappelle’s film Block Party (2005) was my favorite.
Now, who’s gonna be today’s surprise guest?? I’ve been thinking about since yesterday. Is it Q-Tip or the Academy winning song Glory’s writer and co-performer John Legend……?
When he brought a female rapper the sound of frenzied screaming rippled through the audience. Who the hell is that…….? Lil’ Kim……? No, that’s not her. Who could that be?
As the sun set and the Manhattan skyline began to flicker to life across the river, the last strains of Common’s Grammy-winning single “Glory” faded away as he raised a clenched fist to the sky.
His finale was electrifying! So Beautiful. Thank you, Common!
On the way home, me and my friend were still discussing who the evening’s surprise guest was. My friend insisted that was Lil’ Kim and I said she’s not. We checked iPhone and saw Foxy Brown’s name tags on Instagram. OMG. Really? Brooklyn native emcee Foxy Brown? I can’t believe it. Was that the big sister Foxy Brown featured in “Luire” when I was in high school? I wish knew (not that I know any of her songs.)
(Foxy Brown made a surprise appearance at the 2015 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival to perform “Ain’t No N***” and “Oh Yeah” with Common.)