The 11th annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival kicks off Wednesday with a daylong conference at Medgar Evans College on the #ZeroCampaign (setting the goal of “reducing gun violence, police brutality and domestic/partner abuse in our community down to zero,” according to its website).
It ends on Saturday with an all-day concert headlined by Common and featuring Queens legends Mobb Deep and hometown hero Skyzoo.
But the event that might encapsulate hip-hop the best, in all its forms of expression, is Juice, the hip-hop exhibition at Littlefield on Friday night. That show will feature up-and-coming emcees, DJs, graffiti artists and breakdancers all plying their respective trades under one roof. With so much going on in just one evening, making certain acts a priority will be important. Here are a few performers who, schedule willing, attendees should try to catch:
The Brooklyn-based emcee recently released her latest mixtape, “#CMPLX,” and is signed to Duck Down Music, the label of hip-hop legend Buckshot. Her track “Go” would, in a just world, be the theme song for hot summer weekend afternoons.
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The former has appeared in videos for clothing brand and store Topman and showed up in the pages of Complex, while the latter has appeared in music videos with Chris Brown and has an active presence on YouTube.
Arrive early (the gallery opens at 8 p.m.) and take the time to see the paintings of Maria, whose exhibit “Paid in Full” earlier this year paid tribute to the titular film. Expect to see prints of her work become popular quickly, thanks to exposure on Instagram and in Complex.
Kerim the DJ
The Brooklyn native got his start at age 15 and has since become a favorite of venues like Marquee NYC and The Park at 14th in Washington, D.C. Anyone who drops “Elmo’s Song” from “Sesame Street” into his routine at a turntablist competition gets extra points (look it up on YouTube right now).
IF YOU GO
The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival takes place from July 8-11 at various venues. Visit bkhiphopfestival.com for more information.