Hulu Is Releasing a Freaknik Documentary About the “Rise and Fall” of the Atlanta Street Party
Content warning: this article contains mentions of sexual assault, rape, and misconduct.
Hulu is giving the infamous Atlanta street party Freaknik the documentary treatment and it has plenty of people talking already. The streamer announced the project, formally titled “Freaknik: The Wildest Party Never Told,” on April 6, which will see well-known music figures Jermaine Dupri and Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell as executive producers and Geraldine L. Porras as showrunner.
According to the documentary’s logline, viewers will soon see how it “recounts the rise and fall of a small Atlanta HBCU picnic that exploded into an influential street party and spotlighted ATL as a major cultural stage. Can the magic of Freaknik be brought back 40 years later?” A release date has not yet been announced.
Though “Freaknik: The Wildest Party Never Told”‘s description seems to affirm that the documentary will, indeed, highlight the positive and negative aspects of Freaknik, social media users were still quick to bubble up some of the more heinous things that occurred at the rowdy street event after it grew in number in the ’90s – namely numerous accounts of sexual assault, rape, harassment, and misconduct.
On April 10, one Twitter user wrote, “Freaknik was terror for many women, some that didn’t even attend. Hope those men get exposed that harmed women out there.” Meanwhile, another tweeted, “Y’all talking about the freaknik documentary gone show moms being freaks, but it’s also gone show y’all daddies being predators… Prepare for that.”
Hulu isn’t the first to attempt to shed light on the true events of Freaknik. In 1998, MTV’s “True Life” released an episode named after the Atlanta event, which some Twitter users also called out in light of Hulu’s documentary announcement. “MTV followed people who attended freaknik on ‘True life’ in 1998 and One of the scenes was in fact a crowd of men snatching one woman entire outfit off,” a Twitter user wrote alongside a clip from the MTV series. “So yes, y’all concerns are valid but people need to see the reality of this event and not just the romanticized side.”
Shortly after Hulu’s announcement, Complex published an oral history of Freaknik on April 11, which includes detailed accounts about the good, bad, and the ugly from Dupri, Campbell, singer Adina Howard (sometimes referred to as the “Queen of Freaknik”), as well as a few attendees from the event.
In the years after Freaknik fell apart in 1996 (it attempted to rebrand as “Spring Jam” in 1997), people have tried to replicate the party atmosphere of the event to no avail. Elsewhere, in 2021, 21 Savage threw a Freaknik-themed birthday party in Atlanta, followed by a “sequel” in 2022. Saweetie also threw her own Freaknik birthday event in 2021.
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