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Hip-Hop Speaks!

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The community

forum known as HipHop Speaks!

returns to Harlem Thursday, September 20, 2001 at 7:00

pm. This event, the third in a series, has proven to be

a popular outlet for a healthy exchange of ideas and issues

related to the hip-hop nation and the community-at-large.

The evening’s program will lead with presentations

by activist, educator, poet Ras Baraka; Raquel Cepeda,

Editor-In-Chief of One World Magazine; Jessica Care Moore,

featured poet on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, 5-time Apollo winner,

and publisher of Moore Black Press; writer, activist Kevin

Powell; and activist/cultural arts entrepreneur April

R. Silver. Bobbito AKA DJ Cucumber Slice will moderate

the program and on the ‘one and twos’ will be

DJ Kuttin Kandi. The new venue for the program will take

place at the National Action Network (founded by Rev.

Al Sharpton) located at 1941 Madison Avenue (off 125th

St.) in Harlem, New York. Admission is free and open to

the public.

What’s

new about this edition of HipHop Speaks! (HHS!) is its

performance component. Da Cypha MC Battle, produced by

Mahogany Browne, will showcase local rappers and their

arsenal of talent. When asked about this new feature,

Kevin Powell (who conceived of the forums last year) stated,

“It has always been our intent to do forums for the

people, not just for industry cats. What better way to

manifest that than to have an mc battle as part of HipHop

Speaks! If there is anything that heads check for in the

hip-hop community, it is the battle, and we know this

is going to introduce HipHop Speaks! to an even bigger

crowd.” The battle will be held after the discussion

and participants will be expected to ‘freestyle’

about at least one of the issues raised during the panel.

The audience will serve as judges, while artists compete

for prizes donated by Phat Farm, Rawkus Records, Motown

Records, DaDa Footwear, and PNB Nation. Registration is

on-site and begins at 6:00 PM

Co-organizers Powell and Silver first bought HHS! to Harlem

in March earlier this year. The standing room only audience

heard from a dynamic panel that included two of hip hop’s

most respected pioneers, rapper KRS-ONE and Doug E. Fresh,

the Original Human Beat Box. The program also featured

longtime hip-hop activist and City Council Candidate Erica

Ford and core HHS! presenters Powell, Silver, and Baraka.

In June, Monifa Akinwole-Bandele and Rosa Clemente of

the Malcolm X Grassroots Organization (sponsors of the

Black August Benefit Concert) helped lead the discussion.

The forum has also served as an outlet for community organizations

to disseminate information and attract membership through

the free space that is allotted for at each event.

The community

and key organizations that have been consistent supporters

of HHS! since its inception include The National Black

Theater, The National Action Network, KISS-FM, WLIB, and

Odell’s Restaurant, which donated dinner for nearly

200 guests at the June event. “It has been a labor

of love for us and the volunteers to do this program.

The least of what we hope to see come out of this is for

people to get a balanced view of the full spectrum of

hip hop – – in its variety of forms. We believe that an

informed perspective is the most fair one,” said

the CO-organizers

For additional

information, media, or sponsorship inquiries: call 718.756.8501

or send email to hiphopspeaks@aol.com.

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