‘Freaknik’ Documentary Premieres In Atlanta: Jermaine Dupri, Luther Campbell, Killer Mike Attend

The impact of Atlanta’s culture resonates worldwide. One of the biggest events in American history was created by students who attended college at the Atlanta University Center. Freaknik, launched during the early 1980s, started as a small gathering for college students during spring break and morphed into an event that had a generational impact.

The good, bad, and ugly of Freaknik is told in the new documentary, “Freaknik: The Wildest Party Never Told.”

Jermaine Dupri, who serves as an executive producer on the documentary, spoke with ADW about the importance of the film. 

“This is like the first story that we’ve ever had from the city ,” Dupri said. “Dallas Austin produced the film ‘ATL’ which was a story about kids that lived in the city. But that wasn’t about the culture of how there was rise of Atlanta’s culture in terms of hip hop culture. And that’s what this documentary is about. This is the first story that we’ve had from the South.”

The film delves into the beginning of Freaknik which was started by five AUC students who were apart of the DC Metro Club in 1983. Inspired by Chic’s song “Le Freak,” they remixed the term picnic and created the term “Freaknik.” 

One decade later, Freaknik attracted thousands of Black college students across the country, going viral before going viral was tied to social media. Decades before cell phone images became the norm, cam corders captured the moments. 

There was also a business element to Freaknik as street vendors were able to capitalize from the thousands who attended. 

“We’re always asking, ‘What is ours’ and the importance of spending money in the Black community,” Dupri said. “This was an example for others to see Black people spending money in a Black city.”

However, the event’s lack of focus and Atlanta’s hosting of the Olympics destroyed the once vibrant celebration. 

The film provides an overall look at the rise and fall of the celebration. 

Hours before the film premiered on Hulu, the premiere took place at The Bank in Atlanta where Dupri, Luther Campbell, Killer Mike, Da Brat and Judy, Cee Lo, and more attended. 

There was also a Freaknik-themed activation which featured vintage cars from the 1980s, a booth with gold chains, and a stand were attendees could get personalized Freaknik hoodies. 

View exclusive images below:

Photo: A.R.Shaw
Photo: A.R. Shaw


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