Before Crunk would be a movement and term engrained into the lexicon of the everyday pop-pop-endulged American, there was an event called FreakNik. The gathering was originally a picnic for all the black college students in Atlanta who didn’t go back home for spring break, the soiree quickly became a country-wide phenomenon. Although it started out as a college event, inner-city civilians quickly caught wind and the size of the attendance grew immensely.
At one point if you were young and black in the ’90s it was a MUST to hit FreakNik. The intimate soiree transformed into a car show, resulting in gridlocked traffic on highways that turned into a huge parking lot party. Many hip-hop historians say that Atlanta and the southern style hip-hop culture as a whole started to be taken a bit more serious through FreakNik activities. As people from New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Los Angeles came out to get a taste of the Southern hospitality.
Rappers, DJs, promoters and even label executives knew to make sure they were in Atlanta to see what all the hooplah was about. Many household names we recognize today cut their teeth via FreakNik. Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def label even supplied the soundtrack to many FreakNiks with the So So Def Bass Allstars compilations. A collection of albums that featured drum and bass music reminiscent to what Uncle Luke was doing out in Miami. Artists like Ying Yang Twinz, Lil’ Jon and The Eastside Boyz, Playa Poncho, Ghost Town DJ’s and Bo Hogan all had hit songs from these albums that went on to become summer-time jams regionally and nationwide. Remember the Bankhead Bounce? That came from Atlanta/FreakNik culture.
At the end of the day, FreakNik got too hot to handle as a dark cloud of rape culture and violent crimes forced city officials to block exits leading to all the locations where FreakNik activities would normally take place. This ultimately was the nail in the coffin for the ‘Nik. By then the culture had spread into the fabric of mainstream culture.
To get the full story, watch this video below, The 90’s FreakNik Atlanta Story Documentary. While you’re watching the video, peep a photo selection of FreakNik past.