Guide to Summer 2017 Free Outdoor Hip-Hop Events In New York City

Posted by Billyjam, June 3, 2017 10:30am | Post a Comment
DJ Dollar Bill

With June in effect and the summer season for concerts in the parks and other outdoor events officially underway this week, every city across the US has a lot to offer for the upcoming summer months. But of all cities across the nation New York City, where I am writing this Amoeblog from today, has a bounty of amazing free outdoor concerts and events scheduled for June, July, and August 2017. In fact so good are some that it would be worth spending the airfare dollars and taking a two-day vacation to the Big Apple just to take advantage of such shows as next weekend's SummerStage series free funk, hip-hop, soul concert at Flushing Meadows when the Mothership will land in Queens, NY.  The killer lineup includes George Clinton & Parliament / Funkadelic, Main Source, Marley Marl, Chloe x Halle and host Roxanne Shante all live in the park for free.  5pm to 8pm at Flushing Meadows - Corona Park. More info.  

Other upcoming free hip-hop themed concerts in this NYC park concert series across all five boroughs include Digable Planets and Natasha Diggs June 21st 6-9pm at Coffey Park in Brooklyn,  KRS-One and DJ Chuck Chillout June 25th 4-7pm at Coffey Park BK, DJ Premier and friends celebrating Lyricists Lounge's legacy July 2nd 7-9pm at Brooklyn's Betsy Head Park, and Slick Rick The Ruler and Grand Wizzard Theodore July 7th 6-9pm in Queens at Springfield Park. Then there's the Ladies of Hip Hop Festival with special guest Amirah Sackett July 12th 7-9pm at Queensbridge Park in Queens, Mr. Cheeks and Large Professor July 14th 7-9pm at Queensbridge Park, and Capone-N-Noreaga in association with Lyricist Lounge 25th Anniversary series at the same Queens park on July 16th 5-7pm.

But wait there's more: GZA/Genius of Wu-Tang fame will be doing a free show, fittingly in Staten Island (aka Shaolin) on July 23rd from 5-7pm at Corporal Thompson Park in Staten Island.  On July 30th MC Lyte will bless the mic as part of the Rock Steady Crew's 40th Anniversary celebration in Central Park at the Rumsey Playfield (aka SummerStage) from 2-7pm, and the Ultimate Breaks & Beats anniversary concert will feature such performers as Special Ed, Camp Lo, Breakbeat Lou and (host) Lord Finesse on August 2nd from 2-6pm at Crotona Park in the Bronx.  For more detailed info on these and the other (many non hip-hop) NYC parks concerts click here.

Popmaster Fabel

In addition to the parks concerts put on by the cool folks at the City of New York's Parks Dept. another amazing annual summer tradition is the Tools of War True School NYC Summer Jams series curated by Christie Zee and profiled here on the Amoeblog many times over the years including here. Traveling from park to park and borough to borough over the summer months these all-ages, DJ themed, bboy friendly hip-hop weekday afternoon/evening events are always great fun. They are as much cultural gatherings paying homage to a movement born in the Bronx as they are free concerts with such talented regulars as Grandmaster Caz, Biz Markie, Grand Wizzard Theodore, Lord Finesse, Mista Sinista, and hip-hop historian photo journalist Joe Conzo. The 2017 summer series began this past Thursday in Spanish Harlem at Poor Richard's Playground located at 240 E 109th St @ 3rd Ave. There every Thursday in June from 4-8pm will be, as promised, "DJs rocking for the B-Girls, B-Boys, Poppers, Lockers & Rockers" with DJs scheduled to spin including DJ Tony Touch, PopMaster Fabel, DJ Nelson and DJ Perly on June 8th. On June 15th it will be DJ Bobby Morales, DJ Evil Dee & DJ Dirty Digits. Next month the series moves from Manhattan up to the birthplace of the culture it celebrates to the the Bronx where at Crotona Park every Thursday in July from 4-8pm at the Crotona Park Amphitheater DJs and fans of the culture (many of them OGs from the neighborhood, down from day one) will gather and celebrate the global phenomenon of hip-hop. Then in August every Tuesday from 4-8pm the series moves to Harlem's St. Nicholas Park at 135th St & St. Nicholas Ave for the Diggers Delight weekly series. More info here.
Happening today (Saturday June 3rd) for free in Bushwick, Brooklyn is a big hip-hop/aerosol art event with an amazing line up of performers including Busta Rhymes, Cam'ron, CL Smooth, DJ Statik Selektah, and Foxy Brown. That's just the music half of this mixed media festival / block party lovingly put together by the Bushwick Collective for the past six years. Then there's the street art side of the day which makes up somewhat for the vacuum left by the destruction in the name of gentrification of legendary aerosol art mecca 5Pointz over in neighboring Queens. At today's BK event there's 50 aerosol artists, some flying in from faraway spots, all doing live art today. The Sixth Annual Bushwick Collective Block Party happens at 15 Scott Ave. in Brooklyn, NY until 7pm. Free all ages event.  More info.

Another free event in NYC today is The Art of the Tats Cru with DJ Pusha laying down the hip-hop sounds, bboy performances by emcee Chief 69 and Full Circle Souljahs, plus live music performances by Static Vsion & the Nobodies and others. Curated by Laura James and Eileen Walsh this free event is taking place from 2pm to 6pm at 305 E. 140th Street in the  Bronx and is billed as both an opening reception and block party event.

Note that New York City is home of the block party where every summer, following those long indoor months, everyone heads outdoors throwing block parties virtually everywhere across the five boroughs. NYC block parties range in scale from one block for locals to bbq and blast music, to sprawling ten block events attracting thousands. And on any given weekend in NYC you can just start wandering and within no time will inevitably stumble upon a fun block party: many of them playing hip-hop. Thanks for reading and supporting live hip-hop.

Relevant Tags

Free Concerts In New York City (1), Mc Lyte (5), Marley Marl (5), Krs-one (20), Free Hip-hop Nyc Summer 2017 (1), Tools Of War (24), Christie Zee (7), Slick Rick (2), Digable Planets (4), George Clinton (15)