If Philly has always had a hand in the hip-hop
game, it’s recent boom in talent has definitely confirmed it as a major player.
A heavy lineup of respectable MC’s has kept praises for the City of Brotherly
Love on the lips of hiphop heads from South Philly to South Central for almost
two decades now.
But like every other market that holds weight
in the trends and talents of the music, the Philadelphia community has expressed
some concerns and grievances about the direction of contemporary hip-hop
Enter radio talent, 103.9 personality Colby
Colb. He and his staff have organized and hosted Philly’s first ever hip-hop
Town Hall meeting series, forums designed to openly discuss the effects of hip-hop
culture on the surrounding community.
In doing so, he hopes to encourage conversation
between parents and artists, educators and community leaders, students and activists.
"I wanted to address the number one complaint,
that it effects young people and young people do crazy things because of it,
which I disagree with," Colby told AllHipHop.com. "I wanted to get
the right people there to have a conversation about it."
The right people at the first meeting consisted
of a panel ranging from the infamous C. Delores Tucker, Def Jam President Kevin
Liles, hip-hop artist Freeway, two students, Michael Dyson and Darlease Blount,
all engaging a maximum capacity audience at the African-American Museum in Center
The outpouring of public response and the ever-present
need of a conscience in hip-hop has inspired Colby and his crew to regularly
schedule hip-hop Town Hall meetings for the community every six months, with
the next one set to jump off in August.
"Hip-hop is the voice of the people. I just
think that hip-hop owes it to keep being the voice of the people and not forgetting
that. That’s all."