Staten Island native Ghostface Killah left his bling at home while performing a medley of new and old faves at the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival on Saturday. Sporting a rhinestone-encrusted tee in lieu of his typical dinner-plate-size pendant, the headliner echoed the Crooklyn-4-eva festival vibe as he signed off after performing “One.” "Put up those peace signs and close 'em!" he urged the crowd, which duly complied. "Because it's together we stand, divided we open up and we fall." Ghostface followed a breakneck lineup of homegrown rappers and emcees, including — notably — Brooklyn Borough President Mr. Marty Markowitz.
The ubiquitous borough president rapped, painfully, as the sun broiled overhead:
They call me Marty Mark, I'm down with the beat
I'm good-lookin', I'm fly, and I'm fast on my feet
Brooklyn is my borough, it's my hood, you're my peeps
Don't wanna take Manhattan, 'cause it's Brooklyn for keeps!
“If you’re gonna get on the microphone and scream ‘Brooklyn,’ then you better be hot,” mused local emcee Rahsaan later, who performed with rapper Print. “You better be able to deliver your rhymes, you better be saying something creative, something that’s gonna move the crowd, and you better know how to master your audience.” Special guest Cappadonna, member of the WuTang Clan’s extended family, did his part by taking the stage and belting out a riff of unadulterated gibberish. The big surprise, however, came with Fat Joe’s seemingly miraculous mid-set cameo. “Did he get here by boat? By jet-ski?” bewildered fans wondered.
What with the confidence oozing from performers' pores, anything seemed possible.
The only artist who may have left the stage unconvinced of Brooklyn’s love was Kanye West’s main man Consequence, who was hustled off the stage to ensure Ghostface had ample performance time. Oh, well — he’s from Queens, anyway. —Haven Thompson