Countdown to Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival
-- by Phayde, June 2006  

  Organizers are hustling hard as last minute preparations are being made for the second annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, which will take place Saturday, June 24 at the historic, roofless Tobacco Warehouse at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge.

According to the official site of the BHF, last year’s festival––which took place at the Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg and featured performances by Brand Nubian, Little Brother and Rhymefest––drew more than 1,500 people. Among others, this year’s line-up includes Big Daddy Kane, Lupe Fiasco, Strange Fruit Project, the Procussions, and Rhymefest again.

“If I could, I would go rock the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival every year,” says Rhymefest, a Southside Chicago native. “It’s a community event and I love doing things for the community. It shows hip-hop in its purest form, and that’s what I’m about.”

When asked about his memories of last year’s festival, Rhymefest says the diversity of the audience is what struck him most. “I saw white people out there, I saw black people out there, I saw Latinos,” he recalls. “I took the memory of the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival being about community [and] racial boundaries coming together in the name of hip-hop, coming together in the name of having one of those old-school, outside jams…. I love that.”

Another Chicagoan who will be performing is Lupe Fiasco. While Lupe says that performing alongside Big Daddy Kane will be “kind of fresh,” he admits that the event will be “bittersweet,” as it is the same day as a friend’s wedding.

“This is one of my big, big homies,” explains Lupe, who, like Rhymefest, also got the royal cosign from the Louis Vuitton Don. “He’s getting married all the way in Hawaii though. I was trying to figure out if I could jet and go to Hawaii right after the show, or something like that.”

Though Lupe says his set will be short, he urges people to make it out for Big Daddy Kane, the night’s headliner. “That’s why I’m going,” he says with a laugh.

It seems as if Kane, a legendary member of Marley Marl’s Juice Crew, is looking forward to returning to his home town. “I was one of the first to plant a flower in Brooklyn,” he said in a statement. “Now I’m coming back to watch it blossom in my backyard.”

Though the performers won’t reveal exactly what they’ve got planned, the little they do say suggests that the all-day, outdoor event will live up to the hype.

“I’ll tell you one thing I do have planned: you will be thoroughly entertained,” says Rhymefest. “You will not see five dudes onstage all with a mic, saying the lyrics at the same time. You will see a show.”

Tickets are free, but advanced registration is required, and does not necessarily guaranteed tickets.

To register, or for more information, go to

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