Prison reform, social justice and rocking the vote all bundled up with a big “F**k Donald Trump” bow was on everyone’s agenda during last night’s 4th annual TIDAL X concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. All proceeds generated from the event went toward four organizations benefiting criminal justice and prison reform across America so the metaphorical “bow” was for a noble cause. And if you didn’t think the night was going to actually get political, then you were in for a surprise. Leading the pack with a powerhouse performance was recently-incarcerated Meek Mill, who wore orange pants, undoubtedly a nod to his controversial prison stint.
“The Voice of New York,” Angie Martinez hit the stage to introduce the Philly native and drop a few words on the wrongfully accused. The crowd filled with Blacks, browns, whites and everything in between rose to their feet in unison building up to the rappers fan favorite "Dreams and Nightmares," and once the beat dropped, it drew the loudest thump from the audience of the entire night.
In between his set, Meek asked for a moment of silence for anyone in the crowd that had lost someone to senseless gun violence or a wrongful imprisonment, then later ended things off on a light note when he invited Shiggy on the stage for a Milly Rock competition. He even took a moment to say, “Yeah, we cool now,” referencing his former-beef with Drake. But Meek wasn’t the only one holding it down for the prison reform cause.
Recently-released Kodak Black also performed, Lil Wayne who was previously locked-up closed out the show and Angela Rye joined Martinez in giving a hearty welcome to wrongfully-imprisoned, Bronx native Pedro Hernandez who sat in the audience nearby.
Other performers did their part, too. Jadakiss who was later joined by Lil’ Kim had folks throwing up power fists and chanting “peace.” Ms. Lauryn Hill and presenter Ava Duvernay encouraged the young and the old, the Black and the White to get to the polls November 6th. And maybe the biggest, literal F-U to Trump was musician Tom Morello’s now almost-signature guitar solo where he lifted the instrument to reveal a sign on that back that reads, “F**k Trump.”
Mission accomplished. *raises Black Power fist*
(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for TIDAL)