Brooklyn Outdoors

It was a balmy day on the back blocks of Brooklyn. My homie Symmetry Thomas invited me out to a photo shoot he was doing in Tillary park near the Manhattan bridge. The venue Brooklyn Outdoors, a cacophony of modern sound from hot young talent, moving a sea of stylishly dressed people of color. Sym was shooting video for Da Boys From the Wood, being the hip-hop fan that I am, the landscape, bombastic drums, beautiful women and smooth ass bass lines were enough to remove me from my writing funk. Da Boy’s went on at 4 and from the few snatches of sonic symmetry I had heard, their set would be a promising one. The host tuned up the band who warmed up the crowd with some classic soul standards. The first acted offered up a neo-soul styling that reminded me of sleepless nights on the phone with a girl I’d never date. The act provided a fairly entertaining set of trap-music ballads complete with fake money throwing and complimentary stunting. The third act all but hopped into a time machine to provide the audience with a taste of rap circa 2001 before Brooklyn was gentrified and anything could happen. The lyrics and production transported me to a simpler time where visions of gun play and ski masks danced in the heads of timid city dwellers when ever the three syllable borough was mentioned. The four act was the complete and total opposite, a two person rock outfit akin to the White stripes, whose lead singer reminded me of Halley Williams from Paramore. When Da Boys got on the stage the crowd exploded, the kids from Queens attacked the stage with an energy and virtuosity that belied their borough of origin. From Shan to LL, NaS to Nore Queens was always home to lyrical heavyweights and from the looks of it these dudes were looking to pump some serious iron. It was getting late and so we decided to book it home, but I left festival with a reaffirmed faith in the new generation of hip-hop.