Hip hop music has come a long way since New Yorkers couldn’t get down with Kool Herc’s reggae sounds straight out of Jamaica. From the days when hip hop consisted of DJ’s shouting out to party-goers over beats, to the international phenomenon that concert series Rock the Bells has become, music fans everywhere can agree that hip hop is where it’s at.
Hip hop originally gained popularity because of its ability to give young New Yorkers a means of expressing themselves. This sentiment ran true this past weekend as fans from all over the East Coast came together to share in a once in a lifetime experience. This year at Rock the Bells, some of the most influential albums of recent Hip Hop history were performed in full (not to mention the slew of additional performers treating the audience to lyrical delights). Fans were decked out in their favorite artist t-shirts and hats with no shortage of New York pride anywhere you turned. Between Erykah Badu, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Cyprus Hill and Nas, festival-goers had ample opportunity to represent, respect and recognize.
Brands like Boost Mobile, Monster Energy Drinks and Heineken had the opportunity to directly target fans after each performance providing refueling tents, refuge from the heat and of course our favorite – free swag. By offering fans exactly what they needed during the festival, these brands were not only increasing their awareness among their target audience, but also aligning themselves with a music scene that is here to stay.