Common Gives Headlining Performance at This Year’s Fort Greene Festival

Rapper/actor Common was the headlining performer at this year’s Fort Greene Festival, which took place this past Saturday,…
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Rapper/actor Common was the headlining performer at this year’s Fort Greene Festival, which took place this past Saturday, June 26 at Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn. The Chicago rapper, who currently lives in the Fort Greene neighborhood closed the festival with a crowd pleasing performance of some of his biggest hits such as ‘Testify”,”I Used to Love Her”,”Love of My Life(Ode To Hip Hop)”, and “Go!” The rapper also paid tribute to the work of other Hip Hop artist by reciting verses from classic songs from the likes of rappers such as Biggie Smalls, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and the Wu-Tang Clan. Sadat X of the group Brand Nubian also joined Common on stage to rap his part of the group’s classic record “Slow Down.” During Common’s set a young boy was also invited onstage to do a brief trumpet solo, as well as inviting a female fan onstage, in which the rapper sang verses of one of his songs to the young lady.
Common ended his performance by launching into a 10 minute freestyle before thanking the fans and walking off stage. Common participated in the event in support of the Ajile L. Turner Scholarship Fund, which was created in honor of Common’s cousin and former Fort Green Festival organizer who was killed last September in a bicycle accident. Proceeds from the festival were donated to the Ajile L. Turner Scholarship Foundation through Common’s own foundation Common Ground. Speaking about his cousin Ajile Common stated,”It was the summer after seventh grade. I was in Cincinnati at my cousin Ajile’s house. Usually we’d have been out back playing ball, but we were in his room working on something we had been talking about doing for a while: Write a rap. Mine went: “Well let me tell you ’bout a trip a time ago. / I was going there to run a cold-blooded show. / When I was there I saw some people jamming too. / There called themselves the Bond Hill Crew…” I remember feeling liberated as I wrote these lines-like I was accomplishing something that I had dreamed of but didn’t think I could do. As simple as it was, writing it was like a birth to me.”
This year’s festival was hosted by actor Malik Yoba, actress and choreographer Rosie Perez, and journalist Toure.

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