Meek Mill excites the crowd at first annual Break The Internet Fest in D.C.

BTI Fest featured performances from Meek Mill, Yo Gotti, OT Genasis, Kent Jones, Jacquees, Dreezy, DJ Quicksilva, Reesa Renee, Back Yard Band, Clyde Guevara, D.O.D. and Willtharapper. Photo by Muktaru Jalloh
BTI Fest featured performances from Meek Mill, Yo Gotti, OT Genasis, Kent Jones, Jacquees, Dreezy, DJ Quicksilva, Reesa Renee, Back Yard Band, Clyde Guevara, D.O.D. and Willtharapper. Photo by Muktaru Jalloh
BTI Fest featured performances from Meek Mill, Yo Gotti, OT Genasis, Kent Jones, Jacquees, Dreezy, DJ Quicksilva, Reesa Renee, Back Yard Band, Clyde Guevara, D.O.D. and Willtharapper. Photo by Muktaru Jalloh
BTI Fest featured performances from Meek Mill, Yo Gotti, OT Genasis, Kent Jones, Jacquees, Dreezy, DJ Quicksilva, Reesa Renee, Back Yard Band, Clyde Guevara, D.O.D. and Willtharapper. Photo by Muktaru Jalloh

More than 3,000 fans turned out for the first annual Break The Internet music festival. The event, which took place at the Gateway D.C. pavilion in southeast D.C., featured many of hip-hop’s hottest artists and provided a platform for up-and-coming unsigned acts as well.

Despite the fact the night was cut short due to D.C.’s curfew rule, the show was a success. Among the many proud of the event was BTI Fest co-founder, Mia Fields-Hall.

“Break The Internet Fest was created to give college kids a chance to continue their education without financial stress and to encourage them to go above and beyond their dreams,” Fields-Hall said.

The event dealt with first-time issues throughout the night and started later than expected. Originally scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., doors opened a little after 4 p.m. with lines of anxious fans stretched around the block.

The show openers featured a showcase of hometown artists, young and old, celebrating D.C.’s rich culture. Most notable were legendary go-go group Backyard Band and singer/songwriter Reesa Renee.

Renee, hailing from nearby Prince George’s County, Maryland, was excited to carry the torch as a local artist from Backyard Band, who were a focal point to D.C.’s go-go music movement in 1990’s.

“It feels good to represent for the females and for my city,” Renee said. “I’m just grateful. It’s a certain level that you have to work towards in order for people to respect your talent so when they do, I’m always grateful every time.”

Around 7:30 p.m., the show’s headliners took to the stage, first of which was Kent Jones. Jones, signed to DJ Khaled’s We The Best label, performed mixtape cuts and his summer hit “I Don’t Mind.” Chicago rapper and singer Dreezy followed, performing a short set including her album’s lead single “Body.”

Between sets, local 93.9 WKYS radio host DJ Shorty Da Prince and cultural artigé Karen Civil handled hosting duties and introduced acts. Civil also awarded one deserving college student with the $2,500 Break The Internet Scholarship.

Soon after, rapper O.T. Genasis rushed to the stage and performed his hits “Coco” and “Cut It,” both of which have been certified Platinum. R&B singer Jacquees followed, providing a balance and serenading the crowd with his smooth vocals.

Shortly after 9:30 p.m., co-headline rapper Yo Gotti appeared on stage and performed cuts from his music catalogue, including “5 Star,” “Act Right,” “I Know,” “Law” and this year’s hit “Down In The DM.” Much to the crowd’s surprise, Gotti brought rapper Meek Mill onstage. Between the fans rushing the stage and the crowd’s roar, it was clear who everybody came to see.

The Philadelphia-born rapper has been a mainstay in today’s generation of hip-hop and holds a unique place within the culture. Meek Mill’s catalogue of hits has continued to shine through rap beef, court cases and his high profile relationship with superstar Nicki Minaj.

Due to technical issues with the sound system, Meek Mill decided to perform in the crowd, alongside his fans. In addition to performing hits such as “Ima Boss,” “House Party” and “Intro,” he also decided to bring out special guest D.C. native Shy Glizzy.

“We appreciate everyone who attended and we will see you next year!” Fields-Hall said.


STAFF WRITER

Muktaru JallohMuktaru Jalloh
Muktaru is a graduate student working on a Master’s of Teaching after earning an undergraduate degree in English and Political Science. In addition to writing for the CT, he also co-founds his own music and arts site, STROKES N RHYMES. Topic areas Muktaru enjoys covering include music, sports and pop culture.
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jallohmm@commonwealthtimes.org

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