World

They Thought Their Freaknik Days Were Behind Them. No, Cue the Tape.

Back then, hundreds of thousands of young people, mostly Black college students, descended on Atlanta every spring for the rowdy and raunchy event called Freaknik. Performers like Notorious B.I.G., OutKast and Uncle Luke put on shows all over the city. The traffic hardly budged, and why should it? The party was right there in the street.

Three decades went by. Partyers became professionals. Children were born. Wardrobes evolved. All the while, some who had been in the middle of it all were perfectly content knowing their youthful exploits that might be a bit embarrassing today were tucked away. They had their memories. Photographs were stowed in shoe boxes. As for whatever was captured on tape, who has a VCR anymore?

But a new documentary risks shaking things up.

“Freaknik: The Wildest Party Never Told” promises to be more than a racy exposé, exploring the transformation over the 1980s and 90s of a modest spring break cookout for students at the city’s historically Black colleges into a sprawling spectacle that consumed Atlanta.

Even so, for months, the conversation surrounding the documentary, which was released on Thursday on Hulu, has included curiosity and concern of attendees now in their 40s and 50s, wondering whether they might show up in it.

The worrying led to threats of legal action. One attendee pre-emptively requested divine intervention. “I’m praying that Jesus just be a big, tall privacy fence,” she wrote on the social media platform X.

In a nod to the unease, producers have said that releases were signed by those who shared their footage, and faces were blurred to shield identities in scenes that were more explicit.

Related Articles

Check Also
Close
Back to top button