the-90s-freaknik-an-atlanta-story

The common demeanor of anyone who experienced their earliest parts of adulthood in the ’90s is that it was the best of times and it was the worst of times. Stories turn hyperbolic, images and symbols gain greater acclaim and appreciation in a serious prism of nostalgia. Freaknik, for all intents and purposes was a literal time capsule of hedonism that cannot be duplicated or replicated, especially not in this PC culture.

The story of Freaknik basically inspired the Kappa Beach Party, the early ’00s Galveston college party which became ground zero for new music, scantily clad women and slabs parading up and down the sea wall. As often as people have revisited Freaknik, its extensive history, its highs and ugly truths, the tale only grows with higher forms of media paying attention. Thus, The 90’s FreakNik: An Atlanta Story exists as a reminder of what once was. Of how certain names became legends and an entire major metropolitan bent to the will of over 100,000 Black college students before shutting it down.

Most of what you hear about Freaknik from those that participated in it can only be seen as living out Luke videos for an entire weekend. It’s also a testament of one of hip-hop’s most long discussed items of 2015: loving and hating the ’90s. What people love about the ’90s was that their moments were the first moments of what people considered “real”, masculine, dominant, fashionable and worth revisiting. What people loathe about the ’90s is how those who didn’t grew up in the time period could care less about it and feel as if its getting a ton of romanticization solely because the best things permeated through the rest of time.

There’s already an exhaustive oral history of Freanik crafted by Atlanta Magazine. The ’90s Freaknik: An Atlanta Story examines not only the writers, DJs and musicians who lived during the time period but the large swoon of new black inhabitants to the Peach State and in particular Atlanta. Atlanta in the ’80s was basically known for Dominique Wilkins, the home of Martin Luther King, Jr. and how the Braves were the baseball team of the South. Once Freaknik occurred, not to mention the rise of Atlanta’s impact on hip-hop did the migration begin. No major city in the South experienced such a drive of new African-American inhabitants than Atlanta during the time period. It became Black Mecca, Black Hollywood as the influx of transplants from other cities eventually contributed to Atlanta being one of the current jewels of Southern culture.

It’s true, there’s no possible way Freaknik could occur again. Not in this particular era where parties are broken up at a moments notice and police officials in Atlanta used the 1996 Summer Olympics and Freaknik ’96 as a proverbial ground zero for dealing with large crowds to hit the city. The tactics displayed by the police in Atlanta were executed once more in Galveston, breaking up the near 24-hour parade of sex, music and fun that my friends and cousins reviled in during Spring Break when I was in middle school. Freaknik is Freaknik, a single-name entity that, according to those who lived it, is just as wild as any hyperbolic story could be. Now The ’90s Freaknik: An Atlanta Story allows you to revisit a once in a lifetime phenomenon. One that surely cannot be duplicated.

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