Skip to content Skip to footer

TIDAL X Brooklyn used dope music to raise awareness about prison reform

On Tuesday night (October 23rd), 20,000 fans gathered for the fourth annual TIDAL X Brooklyn benefit concert at Barclay’s Center.

The event brought together major stars, emerging artists and activists in an effort to stand up and advocate for criminal justice and prison reform.

Headlining the concert was Ms. Lauryn Hill, Lil Wayne, Nick Jonas, Lil Kim, Meek Mill, Anderson.Paak, with the lineup also composed with the likes of Kaskade, Kodak Black, Normani, Teyana Taylor, Black Thought, Tom Morello, Queen Naija, The Lox and more.


View this post on Instagram


A night we’ll never forget. #TIDALXBrooklyn 2018. Link in bio.

A post shared by TIDAL (@tidal) on

It was a party with a purpose with 100% of the proceeds from the star-studded event going to the four non-profits, #Cut 50, Equal Justice Initiative, Innocence Project and REFORM, aiding each organizations’ reformative projects that seek to put an end to mass incarceration.

The concert was also punctuated by keynote speakers such as Democratic Senator Cory Booker, CNN presenter Van Jones, Angie Martinez, Angela Rye and finally, director Ava DuVernay.


View this post on Instagram


#TIDALXBrooklyn x

A post shared by TIDAL (@tidal) on

Each speaker delivered powerful and moving speeches on the pressing and crucial need to stop mass incarceration in the U.S, highlighting how the issue disproportionately impacts black and brown communities.

DuVernay’s presence at the benefit concert was particularly notable, given that the filmmaker’s critically acclaimed Netflix documentary, 13th offers a comprehensive investigation of the constitutional loopholes that have led to the current prison-industrial complex.

Tidal | Getty Images

In addition, DuVernay presented an award to Tommie Smith, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Olympic Gold Medalists’ powerful and iconic Black Power salute at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games. In accepting his award, Smith urged the Barclay crowd to make their way to the polls for the upcoming elections and to never give up the fight for equality.

But with such a huge lineup of talented artists, there were, of course, major highlights to the concert.


View this post on Instagram


More #TIDALXBrooklyn. You been watching the #TIDALXBrooklyn livestream for #REFORM? Link in bio.

A post shared by TIDAL (@tidal) on

Dressed completely in vibrant red, Teyana Taylor popped on the concerts’ stage and opened the special event with her stunning vocals, singing her track, “Rose in Harlem.”

Andeson Paak exhibited his rich talent and artistic versatility, rapping his latest single “Tints” while also producing groovy percussive beats when he took his turn on the drumset. Just when his performance couldn’t get any better, .Paak brought out Too $hort to the stage, where the two artists dished out the lyrics to “Blow the Whistle,” that was met with roars from the crowd.

Setor Tsikudo (@tsikudo_)

The crowd went off during Normani’s set, with her performance of “Checklist” (originally featuring big-name DJ Calvin Harris). Normani thrilled audiences by premiering her new single, “Waves,” that truly showcased the artist as destined for big things.

The show ultimately closed out with super-star Lil Wayne. The hip-hop heavyweight rapper delivered his first live performance of his insanely popular new track “Uproar, ” while also teasing audiences with verses and beats from his iconic track “A Milli,” and later transitioning to the tracks “Don’t Cry,” and “Let It Fly,” on his newly released album, Tha Carter V.

Tidal | Getty Images