AFRAM is kicking off Baltimore’s 2024 summer season with a bang — or a Bust.

Busta Rhymes was named among the artists set to perform at this year’s festival, alongside other acts like Big Daddy Kane, Alex Isley, Morris Day, October London, Mya and Karen Clark Sheard.

Mayor Brandon Scott, who revealed the lineup at City Hall Thursday morning, said they wanted to make sure there were artists for all generations. “As we say in Baltimore, for all the hoppers, there will be someone for you. For those of us who are middle-age, there will be people for us. And for our aunties, uncles and grandparents — our seasoned Baltimoreans — there will be something for you.”

After honoring Baltimore Club Music last year, this year’s AFRAM will celebrate 40 years of house music in Baltimore, continuing its spotlight on the music inspired by the city. DJ Teddy Douglas and DJ Tommy Davis of the Basement Boys, who were also at the City Hall announcement, will perform a special tribute at the free event. The group has produced for artists including Maryland’s own Ultra Naté, as well as house music singers like Crystal Waters, who will also perform at the summer shindig.

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City Council President Nick Mosby said that along with high-profile, international artists, it’s important to for this festival to celebrate “the artists who made folks internationally known right here in the city of Baltimore” like the Basement Boys. “We all know what AFRAM is to the city of Baltimore. You don’t get crab cakes and you don’t get AFRAM from any other place in the world, but Baltimore City,” he said.

Scott also emphasized the event’s importance to the city. “We want everyone to come and enjoy this Black excellence because AFRAM is of the East Coast’s largest tributes to Black history and culture, and it all happens right here in the great city of Baltimore,” he said.

AFRAM, which will take place June 22 and 23 in Druid Hill Park, highlights Black culture by honoring its fashion, art, business and music. It will be the first of three upcoming festivals thrown by the city this season, including Artscape in August and Charm City Live in September.

Taji Burris has covered the Baltimore music scene since 2015 for outlets such as The Working Title and The 4th Quarter, and now at the Baltimore Banner.

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