Finishing off the four-day festival was the highly anticipated finale concert in Brooklyn Bridge Park. From 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., the vicinity was filled with people celebrating the roots and culture of hip-hop.
Hosting the event was both Torae, returning to the festival for his fifth year, and Uncle Ralph McDaniels, returning for the tenth year.
Headlining this year’s festival was legendary Queensbridge MC, entrepreneur and Harvard scholar Nas, who was joined by Bed Stuy’s own Fabolous.
Other performances at the finale concert included Don Flamingo, Kenyetta Beasley, Talib Kwelli and Rapsody, who announced her signing with Roc Nation.
Wes Jackson, founder of the festival, called it the best festival to date, adding that Nas, cull and Fabolous left the crowd with unforgettable performances. Jackson also said the concert was “a great day for hip-hop,” unlike what particular politicians say about the hip-hop culture.
“Contrary to opinions put forth by people like Rudy Giuliani, we gathered our brothers and sisters in the spirit of peace and love,” Jackson said. “We were able to voice our concerns and focus on improving our community in these trying times. There were no incidents, no arrests. Nothing. I have said it before and will say it again. Hip-Hop will light the way out of this darkness.
With every performance the crowd grew larger and even more full of life, excited to celebrate the hip-hop culture and the performers who keep the movement alive. Nothing could stop this crowd from enjoying their time at the festival, not even heavy rain.
The finale concert also brought surprise performers, including the Crooklyn Dodgers, Buckshot, Masta Ace, M.O.P and Smif Wesson.
Councilman Jumaane Williams and Cory Hughes, whose brother was falsely accused of the Dallas shooting, made special appearances. The two addressed the crowd about the recent events that have stunned the country and the need for change both in the community and in the country.
Performances on the second stage included OSHUN, Moruf, Masego and Melo x.
Leading up to the finale event on Saturday were three days of panels, discussions, emerging hip-hop stars and more.
Wednesday, July 13th kicked off the festival with a full day conference consisting of panels, lectures and workshops focusing on the advancement of issues of entrepreneurship and criminal justice in the community. The conference featured civil rights activist, educator and Baltimore mayoral candidate DeRay Mckesson, Julian Mitchell, Sean Williams and more.
Turning its attention to film, the Dummy Clap Film Festival played old school documentaries, films and shorts on Thursday, July 14th. Present at the film festival were the creators of Money & Violence, Sam Pollard and Randy Wilkins.
Young and emerging dancers, DJs, MCs and other hip-hop artists were welcomed on Friday, July 15th to celebrate the legacy of hip-hop. The Juice Hip Hop Exhibition allowed the emerging stars to showcase their talents and featured Your Old Droog, Taylor Bennet, Nick Grant and others.