The Fort Dupont Summer Concert Series hit full stride Saturday evening with the introduction of Classic Hip-hop Night. Music Pioneers Chubb Rock, Special Ed and Dana Dane rocked the massive crowd with a selection of their hit songs like “I Got It Made“, “Treat ‘Em Right” and “Nightmares“. This was the first hip-hop group to make an appearance at Fort Dupont in the 40-year history of the Summer Concert Series.
While local radio personality Joe Claire warmed up the crowd, Chubb Rock himself emceed the show and directed each of the other artists onto the stage. He was very engaged with the audience and began the evening by recalling a heart-warming story of how D.C. Legend Chuck Brown helped him early in his career. From that point on the audience was in his hands. DJ Action and the performers rolled through a medley of 80s hip-hop and R&B hits that made parents and grandparents sing along and feel like teenagers again.
At one point they invited some audience members onto the stage for an “Old School Dance Battle”. With the crowd fully enjoying the park’s BYOB policy, that went about as hilariously as you would expect.
It is hard to believe that these terrific artists were introduced to the world over thirty years ago! I vividly remember the creative energy that would pour out of my radio each Friday and Saturday night as Mr. Magic and DJ Red Alert played the latest rap records straight from the streets. Chubb Rock, Special Ed and Dana Dane still know how to put on a fantastic show and keep the crowd satisfied. It was great seeing multiple generations of family members relaxing together in the Fort Dupont vale, enjoying the witty lyricism with not a “B-” or an “N-” word to be heard. It’s amazing, but they sound just as good today as they did on their original cassette tapes!
The Summer Concert Series stays in high gear through the end of the season. This Saturday, August 3rd, Fort Dupont welcomes iconic Go-Go band Rare Essence. If history is any guide, they won’t be on time, but you’d better be! Expect a large crowd, so arrive early to find a decent spot for your chairs or blanket.
August 10th is World Music Night featuring award-winning performer Wunmi and Sahel.
GRAMMY-nominated R&B singer Raheem DeVaughn comes through on August 17th.
Finally, Stokley of legendary R&B group Mint Condition closes the season on August 24th.
All shows are scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm
In change from years past, the Park Police are not allowing cars to enter onto Fort Dupont Drive SE. The Auxiliary parking lot off Minnesota Avenue SE is available, but besides that, expect to park on nearby neighborhood streets or more than a mile away on Fort Davis Drive! (and that makes an interesting walk back in the pitch darkness).
Thank you to the National Park Service’s Civil War Defenses of Washington unit for bringing such a lively schedule of acts to Fort Dupont this season!
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