Two years removed due to the Coronavirus pandemic and now with the addition of a second festival day, Broccoli Fest in Washington DC was back outside and upped the ante in a big way this year. Hip Hop and R&B superstars flocked to the nation’s capital, enduring inclement weather to celebrate black excellence, the DMV’s musical talent, and the culture. The event was a moment for DC rap culture. It is also the last performance for Georgia rapper Gunna who walk off the stage hours before the announcement of his RICO indictment.
Rico Nasty lit up the stage with a fire that water from the sky could not put out. She stopped her set midway for a personal birthday celebration. Wale put on for his city, bringing out not only an immense amount of DC talent but a surprise appearance by Polo G. which threw everyone for a loop. Lil Durk’s live band performance for the first part of his set had everyone feeling every word he spits. Then along came the truly unforgettable moments. Wizkid brought out Tems (who also wowed the crowd with her own solo set) to sing their hit, “Essence”.
Summer Walker made remarks about being stopped by the police on her way to the festival itself. During Ari Lennox’s performance, there was a gay couple who proposed on stage which brought her to tears.
And then there was Gunna’s show-stopping performance, which would be his last – the ATL rapper would perform Pushin P and walk off the stage hours before the announcement of his RICO indictment.
Wale’s moment of bringing those DC artists on stage in his hometown, seemed like a moment that shifted the culture of the DC music and festival scene. With major cities like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles all boasting their own music festivals, it seemed like a “Why not us?” moment, as throughout the day the MCs shouted to the crowd asking “Where y’all from?” and the cheers when they got to the DMV were deafening.
With a lineup boasting stars like Lil Durk, Gunna, Wizkid, Tems, 21 Savage, and hometown hero Wale and headlined by Ari Lennox and Summer Walker, Broccoli Fest 2022 showcased the DMV’s diverse population and varied taste, going from hard music to music for the soul. You could sing your heart out to some Ari Lennox then rap your heart out to some Durk. This dynamic is just a preview for not only more to come for Broccoli Fest especially the Delaware, Maryland, and the Virginia festival scene as a whole.
Next up, is Pharrell Williams’ “Something In The Water Festival” on Juneteenth 2022 in the center of Washington, DC.