• 13Jun

    BHF History: Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival Week 2010

    In 2010, Brooklyn Bodega courageously extended the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival from a one day event to a week-long celebration. These are The Company Man’s musings at the end of last year’s marathon.

    The Company Man’s Log:

    Saturday, July 10, 2010

    9:02PM

    I’m tired. I’m sweaty. I smell like “all day”.

    And I’m all good. Better than good.

    Beautifully exhausted.

    Assembling the (officially beastly) 2010 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival has been a six-months-plus-labor-of-love for a “brolic” team of managers and A&Rs and journalists and interns and volunteers — driven by little more than their respect and adoration for The Culture. Everyone from Executive Director, Wes Jackson, to intern Javier Martinez (“The Intern With His Own Interns”) sacrificed sleep, money and life moments to take part in this massive endeavor; to craft something extraordinary. Considering the number of historic events that went down during the first full-week long BHF, “extraordinary” is absolutely apropos.

    The Quick List of Historic Moments:

    1. The Illmatic Show And Prove Super Bowl — First time in US history that Large Professor, Pete Rock and DJ Premier all performed together on the same stage
    2. Bodega Education Initiative — First on record discussion between Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey and Q-Tip on the life of legendary producer, James “Dilla” Yancey
    3. Salute The DJ — First time that DJ Rob Swift (of the X-ecutioners) and DJ Rhettmatic (of the Beat Junkies) spun at the same session since 1996
    4. 2010 BHF Main Day — First time Pete Rock and CL Smooth performed together in the US since 2004; First major NYC show by headliner, De La Soul, in 9 years

    The history is in the highlights, but the feeling is what lasts forever. The feeling of family and friendly Hip-Hop competition reverberated through the week like a Premo beat through Alpine speakers.

    From Large Professor B-Boying with his daughter after his S&PSB set, to Ma Dukes describing Dilla at two years old, to Maseo taking time from the De La performance to embrace his aunt in the front row, to the impromptu Golden Era reunion going down on stage and in the artist section during the Main Day — the familial feeling remained omnipresent throughout the week.

    Whether it is DJ Premier stating how he’s “not going to let the [younger generation of producers] take my spot” during the S&PSB finals, or Q-Tip describing the intellectual gamesmanship and in-depth physics discussions he shared with J Dilla, or Rob Swift exclaiming “That one right there was for my mutherf*cking man, Large Professor. This one’s for Bobbito Garcia!” then proceeding to shut down Salute The DJ using the signature styles of each legendary deejay on the bill, or De La leading the audience in a “Party over here! F*ck them over there!” chant while performing “Me, Myself, And I” on the Main Day stage — friendly competition, Hip-Hop’s essence since inception, was beautifully displayed all week long.

    BHF10 embodied the best of Hip-Hop: a gathering of legends and talented newcomers from across generations, elements, regions, races, and religions showing and proving, rocking and rhyming, celebrating The Culture with mutual respect and adoration — a product made possible through the combined efforts of a tireless team who pushed through a rigorous, often frustrating six-months-plus marathon in attempt to craft something extraordinary.

    And as the sun set behind The Brooklyn Bridge, as the crowd cleared and the rain clouds dissipated and the historic nature of each event was safely etched into Hip-Hop lore — as I sit here on this R train platform beautifully exhausted, smelling like all day — all that remains is that feeling.

    The feeling that comes with being a part of history.

    The feeling of friendly Hip-Hop competition.

    The feeling of family.

    Bodega Family.

    Purchase Tickets to the 2011 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival

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