Photo credit: Frsk Purple / Instagram / YouTube

The eleventh year of the annual, Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival did not disappoint. An array of vendors were on location, and some even provided practical products to help enhance the festival experience.  Two of of Hip-Hop’s core elements, both emceeing and deejaying, were highlighted throughout the concert. That’s right; no hiding behind show tracks — both live lyricism and turntabalism– were in full effect.

Using his quick wit and unblemished wordplay, host, Torae, effectively controlled the crowd. Asides from a slight trip and on-stage tumble, the  Coney Island native did a superb job. Established and emerging artists were given the opportunity to rock the mic, and that they did. Chelsea Reject, Mike Floss, Bizzy Crook, Astro, Dyme-A-Duzin, and YC the Cynic stepped forward and proved that Hip-Hop’s future is in capable hands.

As the show progressed several artists incorporated live instrumentation. Towards the end of their set, with a revived vigor, the previously winded PitchBlak Brass Band recovered nicely and performed their song “Stopping Power.” Reinforced by a positive mindset, Charles Hamilton, massaged the keys while sharing his creativity.  Incredible sixteens were delivered by Skyzoo as the accompanied trumpeter’s notes emphasized his sincerity.  When the Bed-Stuy MC began “Woman Who Can Cook,” from Music for My Friends, the crowd eagerly recited the song. The nearly faultless blended harmony of JR and the PVD Band was a testament to Hip-Hop’s genre-blending nature, while Lion Babe used movement and sound to impact the crowd.

The appearance of Mobb Deep disrupted the lull that had momentarily threatened to possess the crowd. Time traveling down a nostalgic road of classic hits, everything from “Quiet Storm,” to “Shook Ones pt, 2” was given to an appreciative audience. Next, Freeway blessed the mic with his hits like “What We Do,” and his verse from “Two Words.”

Restlessness consumed the crowd as persistent sound issues derailed the show’s momentum. Different politicians and city elected officials took their turn on the mic and again proved that Hip-Hop has powerful and expansive reach. Speaking on the behalf of the Honorable Louis Farrakhan, a member of the FOI invited the assembled crowd to take part in 20th anniversary of the Million Man March which takes places in Washington D.C., on October, 10, 2015. Mere minutes turned into over an hour long wait for the show’s sound engineer to rectify the sound issues. Consequence popped up and spit rhymes to a blasé crowd.

When Common finally took the stage, the once vexed crowd instantly showed its love to the Chicago lyricist. Hands undulating up and down in a sea of audible ecstasy, the wordsmith kept giving hit after hit – even incorporating theatrical interpretations into his beloved body of work – but the highlight of his set was when the platinum-laced, Foxy Brown, joined him on stage.

Overall, the eleventh installment of the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival went very well. What artists should be invited to next year’s lineup? Check out the slide for some exclusive photos from the event.

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Filed under: Features, Headlines, Reviews Tagged: “Live At the Barbeque”, Astro, Beatnuts, bizzy crook, Charles Hamilton, Chelsea Reject, Common, Conseq, DJ Rob Swift, DyMe-A-DuZiN, Foxy Brown, Freeway, JR & PVD Band, large professor, Lion Babe, Main Source, Mike Floss, million man march, Mista Sinista, Mobb Deep, Pitchblack Brass Band, PitchBlak Brass Band, Psycho Les, Ralph McDaniels, Skyzoo, The X-Ecutioners, Torae, Video Music Box, YC The Cynic