The annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival celebrates a timeless legacy
WORDS Caleb Bloomfield
PHOTOS Devin Lightner
You cannot talk Hip-Hop without New York City being part of the discussion. From a little apartment on 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx, to 139th Street and Lenox Avenue in Manhattan, to the Marcy Houses in Brooklyn, the number of historical Hip-Hop landmarks in the city is seemingly countless. With this said, it is fitting that the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival would take place where it does. Founded by Wes and Ebonie Jackson nine years ago by Wes’ marketing organization Brooklyn Bodega, the event does its best to expose people to the positive aspects of Hip-Hop culture. One example of this is the organization Xmental Inc., which included kids doing Brooklyn-themed graffiti on a huge board. Ralph Perez, Executive Director of Xmental Inc., expressed to me that Hip-Hop should be about, “Love, knowledge, and fun,” and this is what he has manifested through this organization. He further explained that the organization worked with one hundred eleven kids who were arrested and that out of those kids only four were arrested since working with them, proving Hip-Hop art culture as a means to effect change within the community.
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