Sounds of serenity: Hippies and hip hop-lovers attend unity concert ahead of J’Ouvert - Brooklyn Paper

Sounds of serenity: Hippies and hip hop-lovers attend unity concert ahead of J’Ouvert

Pan it: Steel pan musicians from Pan Liberty play for guests at the inaugural “Love Yourself” Brooklyn peace concert in Crown Heights on Aug. 28.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

They gave peace a chance!

Hundreds of music-lovers flocked to Medgar Evers college in Crown Heights on Aug. 28 for a concert to promote unity ahead of J’Ouvert — the early-morning Labor Day parade that has been plagued with deadly violence in recent years — and the performances were a hit among the crowd of hippies and hip hop lovers, according to the manager of one of the acts.

“It was all about promoting peace, and it was very touching for the kids,” said Alton Aimable of Tropicalfete, a Caribbean cultural group.

Youngsters from his organization danced on stilts in colorful, carnival-like gear as steel drum bands and other acts took the stage at the “Love Yourself” concert. It was organized by local pols, including Assemblyman Walter Mosley (D–Fort Greene), as part of the increased safety measures being implemented ahead of the Sept. 4 festival that precedes the annual West Indian American Day Parade.

And everyone cheered headliner and Brooklyn native, rapper Joey Bada$$, who performed despite recently cancelling a string of shows after admitting he stared at last week’s eclipse without protective eyewear.

Aimable praised the event for bringing the community together and giving locals a chance to showcase their talents, and said he hopes it will return in years to come.

“I think they should continue it because a cultural event like this gives an outlet for people to express themselves,” he said. “Having a concert or festival gives a space for them to perform, and that’s always good.”

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimon@cnglocal.com.

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