Veteran superstar emcee Busta Rhymes reunited with fellow Leaders Of The New School members, Charlie Brown, Dinco D., and Cut Monitor Milo during Saturday’s (July 14) 8th Annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival on Pier 3 of Brooklyn Bridge Park. Billed as “Busta Rhymes & Friends,” this marks the first time the newly-inked YMCMB-emcee has performed with his one-time bandmates since the group disbanded in the mid 1990s. L.O.N.S. performed “Case Of The P.T.A.” as well as “Scenario” in its entirety along with fellow surprise guests, Q-Tip and Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest.
With Spliff Star by his side, Bussa Bus rattled through a gaggle of hits from his illustrious, 20-plus year career – including anthems “Woo Ha!,” “Pass The Courvoisier,” “Party Goin‘ On Over Here,” “Look At Me Now,” “Everybody Rise,” and others. The Brooklyn-native also brought Lil Fame and Slick Rick to the stage for performances of “Ante Up Remix” and “Children’s Story,” respectively, as well as Reek Da Villain, and BHF regulars, Buckshot and Smif-N-Wessun of Boot Camp Clik. In a classy display of skill, Busta Rhymes continued leading the audience in his rendition of “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See” even after the sound was cut because the show went past the park’s 8PM curfew. Those in attendance loved it, waving their hands to Rhymes impromptu, pantomime performance, leaving on an upbeat note despite a day of noticeable challenges.
This year’s BHF was held on Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 3 for the first time – an equally beautiful, yet much larger space than its previous location beneath the Brooklyn Bridge and the Tobacco Warehouse. As the expanded event necessitated ticket-price hikes, some parties enjoyed the concert without paying from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade high above the festival grounds. As a result, BHF12 felt less crowded than festival’s past. Opening acts Charmingly Ghetto, Maya Azucena, Clear Soul Forces, Ka, $amhill, Kosha Dillz, Chuuwee all compiled quality performances, even with the low-energy audience. Busta Rhymes also did not bring out Rakim or Raekwon as previously announced, and STS of the Money Making Jam Boys did not perform as well. Brooklyn Bodega could not be reached for comment.
Challenges aside, Brooklyn Bodega maintains its legacy of delivering an air of Rap history with its annual celebration. In 2006, Lupe Fiasco – then still reeling from his first major leak – kicked “I Gotcha” for the first time live, confirming the single’s addition to Food & Liquor. For BHF 2010, Bodega brought De La Soul to Brooklyn for the group’s first New York City show in a decade; in the same day they also got Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth to reunite on stage. And of course, 2011’s coup de grace: Q-Tip bringing out fellow super friend, Kanye West. It’s become a staple; a badge of honor for the family owned organization. At the 2012 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, by reuniting Leaders Of The New School, Brooklyn Bodega carries on tradition.
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