It’s been 10 years since the inaugural Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, and this time around the crew at Brooklyn Bodega—the hip-hop advocates that produce the festival—promise it’ll be the freshest yet (their words, not ours).
This year’s fest, which runs July 9 to 12, will be a homecoming of sorts: after eight years in DUMBO, the “Final Day of the Festival” (the main day of live performances) is returning to Williamsburg, where it took place during its first run in 2005. In a press release, Wes Jackson, the festival’s founder, had this to say of the move:
Gentrification is a major issue in Brooklyn. It is the elephant in the room and the invisible hand with its fingerprints on all aspects of our lives in Brooklyn. Education, housing, the arts, health care, crime. Although it is such an important issue the conversations about it have been tense, terse and somewhat unproductive. After eight years in DUMBO we moved offices as well as the Final Day of The Festival to Williamsburg, the face of a gentrified Brooklyn.
The four-day event, spread across Brooklyn from Williamsburg to Bed-Stuy to Fort Greene, features panel discussions, a fixed-gear bike race, live podcasts, independent film screenings, and the Vendor Village, where you can buy hip-hop-themed apparel, food, tech, and more. Raekwon of Wu-Tang (no stranger to Williamsburg), and Jay Electronica will headline a show on July 12 at 50 Kent in Williamsburg. Other acts that day include CJ Fly, Cyhi the Prince, DJ Rob Swift, and Kydd Jones. An after-party that night features Ab-Soul at Webster Hall at 7 p.m. And if previous years are any indication, prepare yourself for some big-name surprises.