Reflections of Busta Rhymes 20 Years Later: The 8th Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival



Rap music has transcended all cultural, musical, and economic barriers while allowing musicians to actively say what’s on their minds. The music has grown from the barrios of the Bronx, New York and has allowed over three generations of musicians as well as the generation that listen to the music, exist as one of the only true American art forms next to jazz music, to keep evolving art.The mystique of the music and culture has been that you can make and create art with the ingenuity of a pin and pad of paper. Emcees would become wordsmiths and create a rhyming experience that would eventually take ordinary people off the streets of a place of gangs, drugs, and violence. A unique street artistry would take hold in a form of dance, art, clothing, and day-to-day life that would evolve into modern day Hip-Hip. Pioneers of the music like The Sugar Hill Gang, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force, Fab Five Freddy, and the Rock Steady Crew took their voices and art and generated what would turn out to become a ten billion dollar a year industry. The music then and today still reflects all the issues that continue to plague the black and Latino communities but it also still represents fun and unorthodox means of creating music. From the early block parties where the emcees would verbally battle other emcees from all the five boroughs in New York City, to the DJ’s recking havoc over break beats so emcees could master what would become rap, to the dancing and free spirit of Hip-Hop, the music gave and still gives many disenfranchised youth a channel to become creative.

The 8th Brooklyn Hip-HopFestival presented by Brooklyn Bodega, continues to bring Hip-Hop’s past, present, and future in full circle to fans all over the world.. Founded by Wes Jackson in 2006, he and his diverse staff have been on the front lines producing and keeping the legacy of Hip-Hop to fans all over the world via their website What I’ve really enjoyed about Brooklyn Bodga’s scope on the music is that they bring a more intellectual and historical view to the music unlike the negative images that continue to perpetuate the music. BB’s events during the entire year bring out all the true Hip-Hop heads that have been molded, shaped, and influenced by the music.


This year’s festival featured the legendary Busta Rhymes. Busta, a Brooklyn native, first got his start in Hip-Hop when he, Dinco D, Charlie Brown, and Milo formed the group Leaders of the New School. L.O.N.S.would record two albums in the early 1990’s including “A Future Without a Past” and “T.I.M.E.” With hit singles like “Case of the P.T.A,” “Sobb Story,” and “What’s Next?,” the group made waves that set the course of Hip-Hop moving forward influencing many emcees during this time. The landmark “Scenario”single from rap group’s “A Tribe Called Quest” is hailed as one of the greatest posse Hip-Hop records of all time. When Busta left the group and recorded his debut record “The Coming” in 1996 his solo career accelerated selling over 20 million records, landing film and television roles, and becoming one of the top rappers in the game. After 19 years apart, members of Leaders of the New School reunited for this year’s 8th Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. The Busta Rhymes and Friends set this year celebrated the 20 years of this emcee as well as his legacy of the music.


This year’s other featured performers of this year’s festival included Clear Soul Forces, Ka, Fat Tony, Chuuwee, Marty Speak, Maya Azucena, DJ MXT,DJ Rawbeatz, Slick Rick, Buckshot, Black Moon, M.O.P., Phife Daug, Q-Tip, and Uncle Ralph McDaniels.


The Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival is something that’s a gem in the Hip-Hop Community and in the states. Jazz, country, soul, the blues, and Hip-Hop are the only original art forms that was created in this country. There are several festivals that cater and represent these art forms but BHH is the only one that takes place were the music was originated, New York City. Brooklyn Bodgea took a risk to form programming like the festival and other events throughout the year to keep real Hip-Hop visible and tangible at a time when the music has become real commercial. Again, this is the only festival where you can spend $30 a ticket and being your family and have a nice and relaxed time, while not hitting your wallet. The Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival includes two stages were music fans can watch and interact with the up-and-coming and iconic Hip-Hop emcees past and present. Also, there’s a section for kids between the ages of 3 and 10 years old that includes many play stations including a jumping trampoline and other kiddie rides thats part of the admission price.


At a time when the media and record industry has tainted Hip-Hop, Brooklyn Bodega has been on the front lines keeping the legacy of the music and culture out there. Please continue to support Brooklyn Bodega and their many events. For more information or to volunteer your time and efforts please visit them on line at

The Revolution Will Be Televised,

Brian Pace

The Pace Report


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