2 weekends ago I was honored with the chance to attend the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. Tickets were provided, so I had to make the pilgrimage to NYC to check it out.
The festival similar to the A3C Fest in ATL is celebrating it’s 10th year in operation this year.
Hosted in a vacant lot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (right off the East River) it was a beautiful sunny day for an outside concert for sure. When I arrived Tanya Morgan joined by Spec Boogie were getting on stage. I dipped out and missed a few acts including Brand Nubian, Beatnuts, and who knows who else. Luckily I looked at the BKHHF website that morning and noticed that Jay Electronica’s set time had been moved up to an earlier time. The post mentioned his set would be epic, and there would be special guests you didn’t want to miss.
30 minutes after his initial set time though, his DJ was still spinning his actual songs to the crowd. The host Uncle Ralph McDaniels and other staff looked like they were stalling, the sound engineer kept checking mics (as if the mics weren’t crispy already from the last performance). I started thinking to myself did this just turn into a Jay Elec listening party? Is he here? Will there be a show?
And FINALLY… Jay graced the stage flanked by a crew of brothers dressed in F.O.I (Fruit Of Islam) garb. Once he appeared, I must say he definitely gave the crowd a show.
The hour-long set featured all the joints you would probably expect to hear in a Jay Elect set: “Eternal Sunshine,” “Exhibit A (Transformations)”, “Exhibit C,” etc. Special guests included Mac Miller (who straight forgot whatever verse he was supposed to be spitting) which turned into freestyle session between the two. There was also Talib Kweli and J-Cole who seemed to appear and disappear rather quickly. The show was going great and had no one else appeared on stage with Jay, I would have been perfectly fine with that. But being the magician Jay Elect is, of course he had a trick up his sleeve and that was none other than Jay-Z himself.
Hov didn’t just pop up to rock the couple cuts he has with Jay Elect, he set it off by his rendition of “Young, Gifted, and Black,” and even gave the crowd a treat of “P.S.A.” as well as his joints with Jay Elect including the latest “We Made It.”
I took a bunch of camera phone pics and even got some video. Then I saw all these fly pictures and HD video, and put my stuff in the archives. HA.
Oh… and before you see these videos, I must mention I ran into Spike Lee who had a 40 Acres Pop Up Shop set up at the fest. I treated myself to a T-shirt and a “Do The Right Thing” behind the scenes book which Spike actually signed… Not too bad considering where we were a few years back! HA.
After this… CJ Pro Era rocked, and Raekwon did his thing with a few Brooklyn guest including AZ, Masta Killa, Troy Ave, and Papoose. But to be honest, nothing quite surpassed the energy of the moment seen above.
Pics courtesy of Tyrone Z. McCants of Zire Photography. See Full Gallery Here
Shouts to the homie Navani, Suce, Dillon, E Holla, and everybody else I got a chance to connect with during my brief stay in NYC.
Until next time…