Year: 2011

Family Day: Community Hip-Hop

At this time in history, the concept of community is more important than it’s ever been.

These days, our world can sometimes seem a bit plastic, somewhat disengaged, overly mechanic and lacking of that certain human touch and spirit that we’re all in need of from time to time. You can blame it on whatever you want: daily technological advances, the explosion of social networks, entertainment and information available at the push of a button whenever you want it, the ever-popular, up-to-the-minute 24-hour news cycle that enthralls us and keeps us in its clutches, or what have you. And because of that, being able to connect on a human level is becoming more and more rare, even if we don’t realize it, or don’t care to. We’re still here with each other physically, but simultaneously, it’s as if we’re getting pulled further and further apart as a human race.

But essentially and unequivocally, we’re all exactly that: human beings that need to connect on a human level. Like the old gospel song that some of us used to hear at the end of every service says: “You are important to me…I need you to survive.” And though it may not be as prominent an idea as it used to be, the concept of community was and is at the center and the foundation of Hip-Hop culture. Be it the block parties in the Bronx of the late 70s and early 80s, crews and labels like Wu-Tang, Boot Camp Click and No Limit Records in the 90s, or even current day super groups and collaborators such as Random Axe, Bad Meets Evil, Maybach Music and Young Money/Cash Money, it’s a dead giveaway that you won’t get anywhere without the support of a community backing you up.

And on a more basic, everyday people level, one could definitely have gotten an up close and personal glimpse of the increasing importance of community while attending the BHF ‘11 Family Day event this past week. This year’s Family Day festivities served as an independent event meant to compliment the all-era-encompassing BHF performances that and helped tremendously to provide a powerfully wholesome and communal atmosphere where people of all ages, races, ethnicities and regional backgrounds could come together under the flag of Hip-Hop and have an enjoyable time. No pretensions, no exclusions, no unnecessary divisions.

You could see community walking throughout the Brooklyn Bridge Plaza and Tobacco Warehouse, viewing the enormous displays of graffiti, seeing people interact with festival vendors as if they’d known them for years while purchasing their goods. You could hear community in the voices of young children constantly drilling their parents on all things that were unfamiliar to them, be it the capoeira workshop or the visual art or display. You could smell community with the scents of homemade jerk chicken and ribs wafting throughout the warm summer air. You could even taste community by sampling some homemade organic baked goods, mint lemonade and other treats available for indulgent, sumptuous pleasure.

But most importantly, you could hear community in the voices of people about the importance of Brooklyn Bodega putting on an event like Family Day and how it benefits Brooklyn as a whole. From food vendors to owners of clothing boutiques to representatives from agencies working for the public good of the residents of the Brooklyn and pretty much everything in between, you got the sense that everyone was in attendance at Family Day to be part of something much bigger than themselves.

“This is my first time at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, so it’s incredible to be here and to see all of the vendors out here,” said Phil Gordon of Belief Clothing Boutique of Astoria, Queens. “It’s great that [Brooklyn Bodega] has set this up and has done it so well. Everybody knows about it and wants to come out and be part of it. It’s a really monumental thing for Hip-Hop and it’s a reminder of how fun Brooklyn can be if everyone gets together and sets up great events.”

“Hip-Hop is Brooklyn and Brooklyn is Hip-Hop,” says Brandon King, a first-time attendee to the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival and representative from BKBooth Photo Booth Company in Fort Greene. “It’s great that DUMBO embraces the festival and that there are so many people out here to enjoy it and celebrating Hip-Hop.”

This being considered by many to be the biggest BHF yet, it was obvious that it would be the biggest BHF Family Day, in turn. From the wide-ranging workshops on beat boxing, song making, DJing, stepping and B-boying to sponsor organizations such as Yelp and 7-Eleven in attendance with all kinds of free giveaways, it was clear from the jump that Brooklyn Bodega wanted this BHF Family Day to last in the hearts and minds of every fan and supporter that showed their face in 2011.

Going beyond the whole “bigger is better” mantra, BHF Family Day put on full display the importance of the small business and entrepreneurship. In an age of constant corporate takeovers, mergers, buyouts and big-time growth for the sake of big-time growth, the thought of businesses serving their local communities can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Family Day allowed Brooklyn to show off some of its most intriguing up-and-comers in terms of business and sales from just about any field that you could think of.

“We’re a Brooklyn-based company; we don’t have a brick and mortar yet, but we do have a kitchen out of Harlem. We do all types of affairs: weddings, festivals and all kinds of catering for events,” says Joy Hibbert, owner and head baker of Brooklyn-based LoveJoy Sweet Treats. “For us it’s very important to be here to interact with our customers so we can see them face to face, which is how business grows. It’s also important just to be part of this great day. We know that food brings everyone together, and we appreciate being invited to this event. We love Brooklyn Bodega!”

According to Espi, owner of Conversation Piece, a company that creates one-of-a-kind handbags, “[Being here] is very important for us because it allows our brand to get noticed, and just being around the families and being part of this event is great. I think Brooklyn Bodega is doing a wonderful thing. I love Hip-Hop and it’s really in my soul. And the good thing is that this is not just for adults, it’s for kids too. Hip-Hop is a culture, it’s not just a type of music.”

“Planet Brooklyn Academy represents all part of Brooklyn. We represent the whole movement, the spirit, the lifestyle and the culture of Brooklyn,” says Hassan Sharif of Planet Brooklyn Academy Clothing and Lifestyle. “Brooklyn itself has a family community vibe. With the festival, this is our first year vending, but our third year attending. I think it’s important because it has to be organic and has to grow from the roots. I believe it’s relevant and that Brooklyn Bodega is making it happen. But we just gotta keep it going.”

If BHF ’11 Family Day is any indication, the concept of community is very much intact and isn’t going anywhere for a while. Yes, we’re living in a world that’s far more tech savvy and not quite as warm and fuzzy as it used to be. Yes, we’re living in times that can be considered volatile, troubling and event turbulent. Yes, we’ve entered a period of rapid transition and change, and we cannot turn back the hands of time.

But being part of a community is something that is, indeed timeless, universal, and is a need for all of us. And hopefully, this year’s Family Day festivities made the concept of community that much more important to that many more people.

We did it, Brooklyn!

Follow Ron Grant on Twitter @RonGreezy

[Watch] Q-Tip X Busta Rhymes X Kanye West

BHF ’11 – Q-Tip from BrooklynBodegaTV on Vimeo.

BHF ’11 – Q-Tip X Busta Rhymes from BrooklynBodegaTV on Vimeo.

BHF ’11 – Q-Tip X Kanye West from BrooklynBodegaTV on Vimeo.

More Jav Martinez genius…

Shot by:
Jose Cota, Jr. (twitter @jrthesr)
Alex F. Ghassan (@alexg_director)
Daniel Graf (@danielgraffilms)
Daniel “Kodaq Jonez” Morteh (@KodaqJonezTMX)
Abbie Krinsky-Rogoff (@AbbieKrinsky)

Directed & Cut by Jav Martinez (@thejavmart)​Alex_portfolio.html

Salute the DJ Line-Up

Here’s the official Salute the DJ Line-UpDon’t forget to get your tickets to this historic event here
Salute the DJ 7/14 at Music Hall of Williamsburg
9:00- 9:30PM – Opening set DJ Henry C
9:30- 10:15PM – Twilite Tone
10:15- 11:00PM – Chairman Mao
11:00- 11:30PM – Grand Wizzard Theodore
11:30- 12:00AM – Mista Sinista
12:00- 12:15AM – Roli Rho
12:15- 12:30AM – Roli Rho/DJ Get Live
12:30- 1:30AM – Marley Marl’s “Rap Attack Live” showcase

Brooklyn Bridge Stage Line-Up!

The official run of show for the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival Main Day Performances!!!

Don’t forget to get your tickets here

Brooklyn Bridge Stage

12:00 – 1:25        Opening DJ Sets

1:25 – 1:55          L.A.

2:00 – 2:20          Nitty Scott MC

2:25 – 2:45          DJ Meka

2:50 – 3:10          Shad

3:15 – 3:35          Eternia

3:40 – 4:00          Homeboy Sandman

4:05 – 4:25          DJ Parler

4:30 – 4:50          MOP

4:55 – 5:15          Random Axe

5:15 – 5:50          DJ Ali Shaheed

5:55 – 5:50          Q-Tip & Friends 

Tobacco Warehouse Stage

2:55 – 3:05          DJ Get Live 

3:05 – 3:20          Sophia Urista

3:25 – 3:35          K.Sparks

3:40 – 3:50          Sene

3:55 – 4:15          Stalley

4:15 – 4:20          K-Salaam

4:20 – 4:35          Wise Intelligent

4:45 – 5:05          Lords of the Underground

5:05 – 6:00          DJ Get Live

[WATCH] BHF11: Eternia’s Mic Sounds Nice

Choosing Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival performers is never an easy feat. Sure, you may have a popular album or top selling single, but the real question always remains: can you rock a stage?

As the countdown for BHF11 continues, we decided to dissect what this actually means. To gain additional insight on the importance of the live show, enlisted BHF11 performer, Canadian-Bred emcee Eternia, who is notorious for rocking a crowd righteously. Not only does she aim to entertain and engage — she uses her live show to break barriers and stereotypes and win over fans.

The Juno Award nominee sat with to discuss why, after ten years bumrushing stages across the globe, she is still so passionate about her live show, how it has progressed and what to expect come main day at the 2011 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival.

BHF ’11 – Eternia from BrooklynBodegaTV on Vimeo.

Make sure you check out Eternia at the 2011 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, featuring performances by Q-Tip & Friends, Random Axe, M.O.P. & more!

Special thanks to PNC Studios.


Download the iTunes playlist of BHF performers past + present

Check out the track listing then click the button to download below:  

Black Milk – Welcome (Gotta Go)
Diamond District – Off The Late Night
Kalae All Day– Sun, Moon and Stars
RS-One – Hip Hop Lives
Leela James– Party All Night
Pharoache Monch– Shine (feat. Mela Machinko)
Random Axe– The Hex
Shad – Rose Garden
Smif-n-Wessun– Wrekonize
Talib Kweli – Go Now

We Got The Jazz, 6/16/11, Free Open Bar

As a precursor to the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, Brooklyn Bodega in conjunction with L Magazine presents, We Got the Jazz, Brooklyn Bodega’s Official Showcase For L Magazine’s Northside Festival on June 16, 2011 at Europa (98 Meserole Ave.). We will be featuring The Stuyvesants, Kooley High, and a bunch of Special Guests. Free open bar courtesy of Pool Vodka. Come check it out. It’s gonna be dope. Click the Picture for more info.

Marley Marl, Grand Wizzard Theodore, Roli Rho,and Twilite Tone added to BHF ’11

Marley Marl


With July right around the corner and this year’s The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival (BHF) only a month away, Brooklyn Bodega has prepared a general update for its many dedicated followers. While the week-long celebration is comprised of individual events, there is one underlying mission they all share: To educate, enlighten and celebrate Hip-Hop culture.

“Dedicating a whole week to Hip-Hop is no easy task. The vast nature of Hip-Hop makes it difficult but I’m proud to say that Brooklyn Bodega has done its best to incorporate the many aspects within a 6 day time frame. Individual events like Show & Prove, “Under the Influence” Art Event and Salute the DJ, work together to complete a much larger picture; with each representing an element of this dynamic culture.”
-Wes Jackson, Executive Director,Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival

Brooklyn Bodega is proud to bring back Salute The DJ on July 14th as part of The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. For this historic event, Brooklyn Bodega has put together a memorable line-up that includes legendary Marley Marl who will be paying tribute to Mr.Magic with his “Rap Attack Live” showcase; Turntablist battle veteran, Roli Rho; the inventor of the scratch, Grand Wizzard Theodore, Chicago legend Twilite Tone; and returning host, Torae. The Bodega is excited to bring together some of Hip-Hop’s best DJs while paying tribute to the late John “Mr. Magic” Rivas, with proceeds from the night being donated to the The Mr. Magic Shout Out Foundation, Inc.


SHOW & PROVE (6/22):
Brooklyn Bodega, along with, present the third and final installment of the Show & Prove preliminaries on June 22 at Public Assembly. EarthGang, L.O.W.F.I., Venomous 2000, LA and Black Sunn & 810, will compete for the last spot in the Show & Prove competition. This round’s winner will join Clear Soul Forces and Chris Faust on July 11 at the Show & Prove Super Bowl as part of the Festival’s week-long programming. The winner, of course, gets to perform on New York City’s largest stage during The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival’s Main Day festivities, on Saturday, July 16.

Brooklyn Bodega presents “Under The Influence,” the first curated art event to be held in conjunction with BHF ’11. Opening Tuesday, July 12th as part of the Festival’s week-long programming at The powerHouse Arena, 37 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY; the exhibit will celebrate the influence Hip-Hop has had for multiple generations within the artistic community.

MOP, Uncle Ralph and Torae join BHF ’11

M f’ing O f’ing P

We are geeked at the news that we have just added Billy Danze and Lil’ Fame aka The Mash Out Posse aka M.O.P. will rock that 2011 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival stage.

“M.O.P. has been repping Brooklyn since day one. I can’t wait for Billy [Danze] and [Lil’] Fame to perform ‘Ante Up’, ‘Cold As Ice’ or ‘How About Some Hardcore’ under the Brooklyn bridge. I saw them at Southpaw and if they kill like that we should be concerned about shaking the Bridge above us on July 16th.”
- Wes Jackson, Executive Director, The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival

Brooklyn Bodega is also proud to welcome the return of entrepreneur and Video Music Box creator, Uncle Ralph McDaniels as host of the 7th Annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. Uncle Ralph has hosted each BHF since 2006, representing Brooklyn Bodega and the Hip-Hop culture as a whole like the true ambassador he is.

Also returning is Torae who hosted for the first time in 2010. A Coney Island representative and Duck Down Records artist, Torae is a host of Rap Is Outta Control on Sirius/XM radio with DJ Eclipse.

Purchase tickets for the BHF11 main day performances HERE

About the Artists & Hosts

M.O.P.– Synonymous with mashing out the party, since their early 90s debut, Billy Danze and Lil’ Fame have combined raucous lyricism and an anthemic live show, rocking crowds and mics like few in Hip-Hop history, representing Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood to the fullest. Read more here.

Uncle Ralph, BHF ’11 Host

Uncle Ralph McDaniels– Creator of the legendary Video Music Box, Uncle Ralph McDaniels is set to host the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival for the sixth time! Before BET’s 106 & Park or MTV’s TRL there was Video Music Box, bringing video music programming to the masses. The success of Video Music Box has proven Uncle Ralph as a Hip-Hop pioneer, visionary and entrepreneur. Read more here.


Torae– Brooklyn-native Torae has been involved in the Hip-Hop scene for over a decade. Torae has worked with the likes of Skyzoo, Marco Polo, DJ Premier, 9th Wonder and many more. You can catch Torae Sundays on Sirius/XM satellite radio with DJ Eclipse on Rap Is Outta Control at 10pm. Read more here.

Random Axe added to BHF ’11 Lineup

random axe

We are proud to announce the addition of Random Axe (Sean Price, Guilty Simpson and Black Milk) to the BHF ’11 lineup.




In 2011, Brooklyn’s own Sean Price teamed up with Detroit Emcees, Guilty Simpson and BHF Alum, Black Milk — forming Random Axe, one of the most anticipated collaborations in recent years. Since then Random Axe has unapologetically wrecked stages and mics nationwide.

On describing ‘Random Axe’ Guilty Simpson states ” it’s a union of families from two different cities (Detroit to Brooklyn). “Run,” from my album, was the first sample of where the music is going but just a small dosage of what the whole album has to offer. It’s not a record made to divide, nor ignore the accomplishments made by Sean Price and Heltah Skeltah. It’s two families merging to make incredible Hip Hop records.”


The Family 4-Pack2 adult and 2 kid tickets to the Main Day and Family Day – $35 (savings of 40%)    The Long Weekend PackageEntry to “Salute The DJ” on Thursday – 7/14, “The Bodega Awards” on Friday – 7/15, “Family Day”, “Main Day”, & “After Party” on Saturday – 7/16 – $45 (savings of $50) VIP All-Week Access Pass  Badge that gets you into every BHF ‘11 event (Show & Prove Super Bowl 7/11, Bodega Art Show 7/12, Bodega Education Initiative 7/13, Salute The DJ 7/14, Bodega Awards 7/15, Family Day-Main Day-After Party 7/16) + official T-shirt and Festival goodie bag – $65 (valued over $100)

Discount Ticket Packages are now available for BHF11!

Photo Rob Talks Q-Tip, “Double Barrel” Album Cover Shoot on #BodegaRadio

In a recent appearance on #BodegaRadio, photographer, “Photo” Rob Adam Mayer discussed his history behind the camera and the documentary released recently on his career, Don’t Get Too Close Or You Might Get Shot. The film charts Photo Rob’s entrance into the independent New York Hip-Hop scene and the influence his shots has had on artists and culture, alike. He also discussed how the shoot for BHF Alum’s Torae & Marco Polo’s Double Barrel was unexpectedly interrupted. “We got pretty much chased out of Brooklyn,” he says.

“There was a couple locations that were not cleared and some pretty big dudes came out and asked us to leave the premises. There were some pretty tough guys in Red Hook saying, ‘Get out of here. What are you doing?‘ I think the actual Double Barrel cover, I got six frames off in that location before they were like, ‘Get out here!‘…We were in some pretty shifty locations so these guys were businessmen, I suppose. Whatever they were up to, you could tell by the location of the shoot that it was a pretty tough area. It was real cool. It was a great shoot, a great day, a great memory.”

Along with Torae & Marco Polo, Photo Rob has also shot album covers for Group Home’s, Lil‘ Dap, Fresh Daily (BHF Alum) as well as magazine covers for Wax Poetics magazine, among others. “Wax Poetics, that was the Q-Tip cover,” says Mayer. “The first time I took a picture of Q-Tip I think was for the Wax Poetics cover in 2008. When I meet somebody who I’m a big fan of and am a big supporter of their music in terms of just buying records, I just give them a pound first and say, ‘Thank you for your music. I’m a huge fan of what you do.’ And then I just get to work and try to do the best job I can.”

Photo Rob has also shot numerous Brooklyn Bodega events, including the 2010 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival featuring De La Soul, Duck Down’s 15th Anniversary Show, Curren$y, Fashawn and more. recently featured him, further discussing the documentary about his career and his life before Hip-Hop photography.


“Q-Tip & Friends” will headline the 2011 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, July 11-16. Tickets are now available.

For more information on Photo Rob visit his website and follow him on Twitter @PhotoRob

Follow The Company Man on Twitter @TheCompanyMan