Crowd & Church
Two weeks ago, I visited Dutch hip-hop festival Boogiedown Breda. The festival was started in 2008, and yes I've visited all three editions so far. That means I've been so blessed to see Masta Ace perform twice. This year, he was going to perform with rapper Edo G. (formerly known as Ed O.G.) with whom he has recorded the album Arts & Entertainment, but unfortunately Edo had passport-problems and couldn't make it. Buuuut, as he's supposed to, Masta Ace saved the day. You may expect this from a hip-hop legend, but I've seen rappers who've been in the game for over 10 years disappoint at that very same festival (*cough* Extince *cough*). Ace and I shook hands two years ago, when he performed with his group eMC (known for their album The Show). I have nothing but love for this man, if you want to know why - check out his music. For those who aren't used to oldschool hip-hop, check out the last two albums Disposable Arts and A Long Hot Summer. They are kind to the ear. :)
There is one thing that concerned me about this day in Breda. Why was the performance by Dutch teenage rapper Fotosynthese the most energetic and impressive performance of the entire day? Ok, ok, I wasn't there the whole time (I missed out on Camp Lo and the artists before Fotosynthese), but from what I saw, Fotosynthese embarrassed all the "legends" and "kings of hip-hop" who were there that day. Might be because he's from Breda and his fanbase was there in its totality, but it might also be because he's fresh and down-to-earth.
I also want to say something about Fresku. I love his style, his political, anti-racist raps. My favorite Dutch rapper is Manu, a rapper who (in my opinion) should get major credit for excelling in this same style of rap. Now although I respect Fresku big time, I think he should watch Manu perform live and learn from it. I've seen Manu perform about 4 or 5 times, I talked to him and took a picture with him, and he always leaves me gasping for air. Not because he's a pretty boy, but because of his PASSION! He breathes, eats, sleeps and shits his beliefs. You can never see Manu as a rapper, he's automatically a political rapper. Fresku, however, made the crowd go wild with a song called Kutkop (Sukkols) (which can be loosely translated to Fuckface (Losers)). Why did his songs We Hebben Je Nodig (We Need You) and Mama Ik Snap Je (Mama I Understand You) get little to no response? Because you either have to present them with FIRE in your soul or not present them at all. It's too easy to let the success of your performance depend on the songs everyone knows (Kees and Twijfel). A real performer can sell a song that doesn't even have a trace of 'commercial' in it.
I will not discuss any other artists that performed that day. I will say, however, that I loved the positive vibe at the festival and the concept is great. It's a free hip-hop festival that unites hip-hop from the Netherlands (mainly Brabant) and American hip-hop. Great. Just one thing: there were several people who stood in the crowd with a little child on their shoulders. I saw someone showing off his NAKED babydaughter to the crowd, this child was crying.. And I saw a father smoking weed in front of his kid. This disgusts me and I think police should have been present to give these people a good ass-whooping.