Updated 07/10/2010 05:37 PM
Annual Hip-Hop Festival Sends Good Vibes Through DUMBO
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Family fun and positive messages were front and center at the sixth annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival in DUMBO Saturday.
Through 8 p.m., hip-hop stars and upcoming rappers were scheduled to perform at the Tobacco Warehouse between Water and Dock Streets.
The headline act was De La Soul and other performers included Master Ace, Pete Rock and CL Smooth.
The festival's co-emcee, Coney Island native Torae, released his album "Double Barrel" in June. He said the festival stresses the positive side of hip-hop.
"It's just awesome, you know, for new, upcoming artists like myself to be out here and perform with legends and get to touch people from young to old, every race," said Torae. "Everybody is going to be out here. It's just going to be an amazing day."
"It's packed -- no violence -- so it dispels all the myths that hip-hop brings violence and stuff," said General Steele of the hip-hop duo Smif-N-Wessun. "It's beautiful out there, it's young kids out there, it's older people out there. It's people from all walks."
The festival's founders and participants said mini-workshops in break dancing, beatboxing, the Brazilian martial art capoeira and salsa dancing would bring youth into hip-hop culture and teach them core values of social change and empowerment.
"It's uplifting, it's educating the masses, you know what I mean? Hip-hop is here," said performer Kalae All Day. "I spit positivity, whether it's about having fun or uplifting women. I'm just not here talking about all my body parts and what they can do for you.... I'm keeping it real for me. I'm representing a large demographic of women that I think aren't properly represented in the hip-hop culture."
Music lovers packed Brooklyn Bridge Park to celebrate an art form that began on the streets of New York.
"To hear some of the music that we grew up on is always a treat," said one visitor.
"It's amazing to see how many different people come out and how many people love hip-hop. And all the different cultures that come together -- we all share this one amazing source of music," said another.
Many young artists who performed along old school artists were looking for a big break and to share their love of the genre.
"My goal is to bring the old school back, bring all the fun in hip-hop back," said hip-hop artist Lil' Shams.
"Here is where everybody is able to express themselves and not be judged about it, and to be able to do things. Like, that is an amazing feeling," said hip-hop artist Anthony "Loco" Samuels.
Wes Jackson, the festival's founder and executive director, said the event is designed to show younger audiences all the possibilities in hip-hop.
"So they don't think it's all being an MC or a DJ. You can be a writer, a journalist, a dancer, a visual artist, an aerosol artist, a lawyer," said Jackson.
When asked why New Yorkers should come to the festival, Torae recited:
We here live at the Hip-Hop Fest,
Me, I'm Torae, one of hip-hop's best,
You can see the wardrobe is hip-hop fresh,
If you don't make it out, you'll be hip-hop-less!
The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival and Concert was produced by Brooklyn Bodega.