Tuesday, July 19, 2011

No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn: Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival Recap

I got on a bus at 1am from upstate New York Saturday morning. This particular morning I was on my way to the 7th Annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. My blog partner and long time friend OC Supreme and I have made it a tradition to attend over the last few years. And having moved upstate New York, I wasn't going to change that. So, I sacrificed some comfort and a bed for the night to sit up in a seat and get as much sleep as I could between the start and end of the trip.

In my mind, there was really gonna be no sleep till (after) Brooklyn.

Eternia arriving at BHF11.
Statik Selektah shares a few words with Lil' Fame of MOP.
Nitty Scott, MC has quite the buzz going.
I was excited about this year's BHF more than previous years mostly because of the line-up. Since revamping the blog and really pushing forward over the last year or so, we've strived at creating unique content featuring some very talented and mostly independent folks. Our goal on this site has always been to deliver content in a way that you might not get it elsewhere. Packaged in podcasts, reviews of music from the artist's perspective, Friday's Five Random Questions, interviews and more, we attempt to stand out. In digging deeper, we've developed working relationships with managers, publicists and most importantly the artist themselves. We've become invested in the work of many folks we've covered on these pages.

Da  Beatminerz.
Canadian rapper Shad backstage prior to the show.
Torae handled the hosting duties early on at BHF11.
L.A. took to the main stage at Saturday’s event with a full band.
The 2011 BHF line-up were a ton of folks that we've featured on the blog and have been staunch supporters of. That line-up included the likes of Eternia, the Canadian female emcee, who put out one of my favorite projects last year, and has been featured on the blog more times that I can remember. Shad, another Canadian emcee, has been all over the blog since I discovered his music. Then there are artist like Homeboy Sandman and Nitty Scott and Diamond District who have also found themselves featured on TMB too.

And then there was my homegirl, Brooklyn new comer L.A., who had won the Show & Prove Super Bowl earlier in the week for the right to rock at BHF. I've been covering L.A.'s rise since almost the beginning. Before the first project and the videos, I was a fan and decided early to support her and the music she created. Her rocking the stage on Saturday was a big moment.

Acem, Truth, Powerful of Gods'Illa.

When Homeboy Sandman took the stage, he damn near tore it down.

Tiye Phoenix, Rah Digga and Eternia.
Shad and Ayah. He can rap. She can sing.

Then there were the big names like Random Axe, MOP and headliner Q-Tip (and friends) that peaked my interests.

The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival 2011 line-up were folks whose music this site truly believed in and so it was so dope to be in Brooklyn as they took to the main stage under the Brooklyn Bridge because at the end of the day, and above all else, we're fans of music. Whether it's hip-hop or R&B, we're fans first.

Diamond District's Oddisee.
Diamond District's yU
Diamond District' X.O.
Guilty Simpson during the Random Axe set.
Sean Price, Dru Ha and Black Milk laugh during the Random Axe set.

So, a trip that included two six hour bus rides, just over eight hours of standing and the heat (damn it was hot), was well worth it because I watched some talented folks rock, connected with some cool people I hadn't seen in a while or just met for the first time. I enjoyed the Saturday filled with quality music and some big music moments.

I guess you can say, it was all in the name of Hip-Hop.

I'm good with that.

Kanye West arriving backstage.
Q-Tip takes to the stage as the BHF headliner.
Q-Tip joined by Black Thought.
Busta Rhymes joins Q-Tip as one of his special guests.
Monie Love back in the middle joining Q-Tip on stage.
When Kanye hit the stage, the crowd went crazy.

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  1. Anonymous10:14 PM

    Dope photos! Especially with the little one on the parents' shoulders.. she is gonna be have good taste in music growing up lol

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