(AllHipHop News) Brooklyn Bodega's popular, annual celebration of Hip-Hop music and culture kicked off last night in Brooklyn, New York, with variety in mind for the light but enthusiastic crowd on-hand.
Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival 2012 (BHF'12) is currently in full swing, having begun its week-long festivities last night (July 9) with the annual "Show and Prove Bowl."
The Bowl, a showcase for amateur MC battles and seasoned sets, was held at the borough's well-known performance venue, Brooklyn Bowl. The night, which started with MC battles between some lesser-known, but fiercely competitive rappers early on, seemed to be about "showing and proving" that great rapping at any stage or age takes skills.
Evitan ('Native' spelled backwards) - also known as Dres from Blacksheep and Jarobi from A Tribe Called Quest - were crowd favorites, as they remixed Old School samples of their respective group's music with updated production and lyrics.
Late in their performance, the duo brought out a rap celeb lineup that included Craig G, Rah Digga, Homeboy Sandman, and Sadat X. and had the entire crowd involved in a lively call-and-response session.
Philadelphia's Freeway performed a headlining set, featuring a medley of his Roc-A-Fella/State Property hits, and anchoring his show with a performance of "All My Life" as a tribute to Nate Dogg, the song's producer and hook vocalist.
From his hometown, Freeway brought along rapper Jakk Frost for the ride, who joined him on two songs.
The "spirit of Philadelphia" was a running theme during the night, as longtime collaborator and composer for The Roots, Dice Raw, gave a brief, surprise performance during Young Guru's nearly hour-long DJ set.
Young Guru, DJ and engineer to Jay-Z, opted for an Old School set to underscore the roots of his Hip-Hop influence.
1982 (Statik Selektah and Termanology) - with fellow rap pal REKS of Miami - ended the night with an uplift by joining M.O.P's Lil' Fame on his performance of "Ante Up". From the VIP area, previous BHF'11 participants and femcees, Rah Digga and Eternia, took in the sights and sounds, along with M.O.P., Smif 'N Wessun, and more.
Earlier in the night, Charmingly Ghetto from Boston was the winner of the "Show and Prove Super Bowl," after beating out regional favorites, May's preliminary winner 330 from the DMV (D.C./Maryland/Virginia) area, and April's winner Rasheed Chappell from the New Jersey/New York area.
As winner of the "Super Bowl," Charmingly Ghetto will receive a high-exposure opportunity to open for rapper Busta Rhymes at the BHF'12 final day concert on this Saturday (July 14).
For tickets or more information about Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival 2012, visit www.bkhiphopfestival.com.
Check back tomorrow and later this week for interviews with Evitan, Young Guru, and more.