Early 2016 Bilal Bey (New York), Blake Lynch (DC), Daniel West (DC), and myself came together with the idea of having an event surrounding Roots Picnic in Philly. Something clicked by the end of our first meeting and I said “JiLitJawn”. I think Lit was the word of the moment. All credit was given to New York, Jawn is staple to Philly, and Ji is a term native to the DMV area. This birthed the entire concept of the event.
We wanted to celebrate the cultures of the DMV area, New York, and Philly as we had friends and colleagues coming in large groups from those areas for the festival. To roll out the event we launched a series of videos with local natives from each area explaining their native lingo. To further promote we had #JILITJAWN styrofoam cups printed and we released two mixtapes which featured the artists performing at Roots Picnic. As we got closer to the event, we finally settled on a very dope indoor/outdoor location in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia. However, there was one problem. There was a noise curfew…and there was rain in the forecast.
Luckily, the visionaries of JiLitJawn were all creatives and we all insisted that the party was to go on. The sold out event morphed into a silent party concept outside with a second DJ on the inside of the venue. The BYOB event featured two DJs DJ Breemz representing the DMV area and DJ Cousin Mike representing Philadelphia. We had local vendors selling vintage clothes and treats…and it might have rained for a total of 5 minutes before the event even started. Needless to say it was a huge success.
For a video recap and more photos of the event please check out the official JiLitJawn instagram below.