Biz Markie, Da Brat among the headliners at tomorrow's Bimbé Festival in Durham | Music | Indy Week
INDY Week's music blog

Archives | RSS

Friday, May 16, 2014

Biz Markie, Da Brat among the headliners at tomorrow's Bimbé Festival in Durham

Posted by on Fri, May 16, 2014 at 1:39 PM

click to enlarge biz.jpg
To the hip-hop faithful, Biz Markie is the legendary emcee behind “Nobody Beats The Biz” and someone who’s evolved into such a high-caliber DJ and music aficionado that Technics gifted him with the world’s only pair of 7” turntables. To others, Biz is just the sucker behind the karaoke favorite “Just a Friend” and the guy who tours with Yo Gabba Gabba. Those perceptions unite this weekend for Durham’s 45th Annual Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival,  where Biz Markie and fellow rap veterans Da Brat and Nice & Smooth lead the Bull City’s celebration of African-American culture. 

The festival’s history reaches back toward the end of the country’s Civil Rights era and was partly conceptualized as a reaction to the city’s unsettling racial climate. On the morning before Valentine’s Day in 1969, 50 student-members of Duke University’s Afro-American Society and a few former students occupied Duke’s Allen Administration Building, issuing the statement: "We seized the building because we have been negotiating with Duke administration and faculty concerning different issues that affect black students for two-and-a-half years and we have no meaningful results. We have exhausted the so-called 'proper' channels." Later that evening—after being joined by more than 100 white students—the protesters encountered a brigade of Durham police officers and tear gas. Several students were arrested and more were injured, but the protest eventually led to the university establishing an Afro-American Studies program.

That summer, some of those Duke students collaborated with students from N.C. Central University and other area schools to create Bimbé, a way to honor some of West Africa’s harvest festivals. Since then, it has become a family-friendly Durham tradition, an event where Pan-Africanism is celebrated. The festival officially began on Wednesday in Lyon Park with the Old School Block Party. Its grand finale takes place throughout the day tomorrow, starting at noon with a “Salute to the Elders,” followed by dance performances, band showcases and DJ sets before the evenings three hip-hop headliners take the stage.

For more information about the festival, including the full schedule, visit the website by clicking here. 

Tags: , , , , ,

Pin It
A primer on the Bimbé Festival, celebrating 45 years this week.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Music

More by Eric Tullis

Twitter Activity


Dustin Hill sounds like a very immature person who is empty inside. His music I'm sure only speaks to other …

by Liz Crews on "We care about the human race": An interview with Black Pussy (Music)

The photo accompanying this article is priceless. It could just be a trick of perception, but it appears that the …

by TVGbullcity on Live: At The Ritz, ego and a lack of safety combine for a Farruko failure (Music)

Latest videos from the INDY

© 2015 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation