Recap: Future, Jhene Aiko and More Perform at Broccoli City Festival 2016

Despite over cast and rain, Broccoli City Festival was lit. Launched in an effort to increase awareness about wellness and sustainability in urban communities, this year’s festival — held at the Gateway D.C. Pavilion (1100 Alabama Avenue SE) — did not disappoint.

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Hosted by Rock Creek Social Club and Rodney Rikai, this years line up was no doubt the biggest the festival has ever had with the likes of BJ The Chicago Kid, The Internet, Jhene Aiko and Future on the big stage, among others. A few local artists performed too — D.C. go-go band Rare Essence, vocalist Reesa Renee, DJ Ayescold and Maryland rapper Ace Cosgrove.
The stand-out performances included  BJ The Chicago Kid’s renditions of Prince’s “Do Me, Baby” and D’Angelo’s “Send it On.”
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Another favorite was Jhene.

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Not only did Jhene perform songs from her album, “Sailing Souls” and “Souled Out,” but she also performed her new material with Big Sean from their collaboration as Twenty 88, including one of my favorite songs, “Déjà Vu.”

And the singer wasn’t too boughie to hop down off the stage and get up close and personal with fans.

But of course the highlight was Future.

Backstage we spotted Revolt TV cameras rolling, with MTV’s Sway (How Sway?!) and hip-hop journalist Eliott Wilson getting the scoop.

However, several influencers, handlers and even sponsors were kicked out of the what was said to be the VIP Tent two hours before Future was set to perform at his request. Even actor Lance Gross was told he had to leave.

Still, that didn’t stop everyone, including us from turning up when the rapper hit the stage to perform much of his old material and throwback hits.

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A photo posted by Mark Clennon (@mark.c) on

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We even spied a few celebrity notables in attendance includin producer 9th Wonder, Robert Glasper, community activist and Fab! Award winner Tony Lewis Jr. along with fellow winner and radio personality Sunni.

The fourth annual Broccoli City Festival was bigger and better this year. In fact, approximately 12,000 people cheered on the acts, which is a leap from last years numbers–5,000.

The festival expanded this year, using the entire Gateway Pavilion that featured a great deal of vendors, selling everything from art to clothes as well as food trucks.

BCFest once again stayed close to its roots. The Toyota Green Initiative, the festival’s title sponsor, used the well attended even to promote Earth Day as well as countless healthy initiatives, including a 5K run before the concert started.

Carlita Pitts contributed to this report.

Photo credit: Instagram/Carlita Pitts for The Fab Empire