As ominous dark clouds rolled through the blue skies over Brooklyn Thursday evening the mood in Betsy Head Park was in contrast to the weather threat overhead. One of the first Summer Stage events of the season was about to begin. The talented roster of artists that call DUCK DOWN Music home treated the crowd in Brownsville to a bit more than the normal Summer Stage event.
The scent of barbecue pierced the warm air. Percy and Mustangs Soul Food out of Brooklyn were serving up food to the delight of all ages. For those that just got off work and needed a pick me up, Red Bull was there with beverages. Leave it to Duck Down to do it differently. Instead of just providing great music they provided a whole barbecue. As the adults relaxed, kids tracked dusty footprints as they raced around the crowds playing tag.
When some people think of Hip-Hop, family and fun is not the first thing that comes to mind but Duck Down is one of those music families that proves the naysayers wrong. Currently home to one of the most talented rosters of any label, they strive to have a sense of family within themselves and their family of fans.
The music. That’s what this really is about yes? The vibe was energetic. Hosted by Hip-Hops favorite radio personality Peter Rosenberg of HOT97. The crowd was treated to an amazing line up of artists. With an early, and unfortunately missed by some, performance by Statik Selektah -He had to race off to his own much-lauded show on Shade 45. On to YC The Cynic, Smoke DZA, Masta Ace and many others.
While at times fans can be “too cool” to overtly take part, Sean Price had the crowd chanting “Sean P” over and over. In-between sets DJ Evil Dee spun crowd pleasing songs. Taking us to places of Hip-Hop past, present and in-between.
As the skies cleared the early evening was punctuated with a rainbow. It was a perfect reminder to those in attendance that life was good. We were being provided tasty barbecue and talented artists were giving us a gift of music. For the working class neighborhoods of Brooklyn it is nice to get a thank you from the artists we have supported over the years. That is what this evening felt like. A thank you.
As the evening cumulated with a performance by the ever popular and always relevant Hip-Hop super group Boot Camp Clik the crowd roared with approval and rapped along with the artists to songs that brought us back to a time when things seemed easier. Fans once again becoming one with the people they have, for some, admired only from afar.
Other record labels should take note. The reason Duck Down is so enduring is in no small part to its co-founders Dru Ha and Buckshot. They have obviously done things right. Fans still want to buy their records, support their shows and the artists. This has been accomplished in part to events like this that they do throughout the year. The music still feels owned by the fans, the artists still seem to care about the integrity of their music. Never seeming jaded and “over-it,” never to good to stop and interact with the people who have made them successful.
The end of the evening started much like the beginning positive and warm. With a few small differences; the kids weren’t running as fast, the excitement of the day wore on them, bellies were full and as the adults reluctantly left the park there was slight evidence that a nutcracker or two may have been consumed. Basically the epitome of any successful concert, or in this case “family reunion.”
From the family of fans you have gained over the years…Thank You Duck Down.