Carlos Neal, the driving force behind After 9 Partners, an Atlanta-based Promotional Company, has spent the past five years dedicated to restoring and safeguarding the iconic FreakNik® brand. Carlos was deeply Inspired by the ground-breaking FreakNik documentary showcased at SXSW (South by Southwest) and airing on Hulu for the world on March 21, 2024. Carlos embarks on a mission to honor the cultural legacy of FreakNik and ensure its future resonance.


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“I’m thrilled that the Hulu FreakNik documentary is beginning to capture the story of FreakNik,  Carlos remarks, reflecting on his deep-rooted connection to the event and its significance to Atlanta cultural tapestry. FreakNik meant so much to me and the culture of my city. This documentary is just the beginning of a long and exciting journey.“

In 2019, Carlos established the FreakNik Festival Foundation Non-profit, signaling a commitment to celebrate the positive spirit of the 90s-era FreakNik. Emphasizing that this isn’t a reenactment of the 90s FreakNik but a celebration of its essence, Carlos’ vision earned recognition from the State of Georgia for its impact on the community via a health fair and positive economic impact to the City of Atlanta.

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Central to Carlos’ revamped FreakNik approach is community engagement and input from key figures in FreakNik’s history. Notably, George Hawthorne, chair of the College Spring Break planning committee, joined Carlos board of directors, underscoring a commitment to learn from the past and shape a responsible future for FreakNik. Mr. Hawthorne stated in 2019, “Had FreakNik been organized like Carlos’ version, I would have voted differently in 1998.”

Moreover, Carlos’s partnership with Ronn Greene, the original promoter and trademark holder of FreakNik, symbolizes a passing of the torch to ensure the brand’s continued celebration and integrity.

With a steadfast dedication to social responsibility, safety, inclusivity, and diversity, Carlos introduces a FreakNik® licensing model to protect the brand’s legacy and foster positive community engagement.

Mayor Khalid of South Fulton says, “FreakNik was a cultural phenomenon that significantly contributed to Atlanta’s reputation. I’m thrilled to see Carlos revive the brand and restore its original mission.”

Carlos’ vision for FreakNik continues like the upcoming FreakNik Reunion on April 20, 2024, hosted by Grammy award winner Killer Mike, to encompass future media projects, including movies, TV series, and national concert tours.

Carlos humbly expresses gratitude to the dedicated individuals who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to revive the brand, recognizing their indispensable contribution to FreakNik’s resurgence. Individuals such aTony Wyzard, Michael Williams of MWP Entertainment, Cassie Cope, Michael “Bull” Williams, Patrick Hall, Demarcus Travis, Jerome Rowland, and many others who have worked tirelessly to revive the brand.

Tickets Available here.

About The Author

Senior Editor

Shawn Grant is a Chicago native and the Senior Editor of The Source Magazine. He can only be found on Instagram and Twitter at @shawnxgrant.

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