The Hip-Hop Summit commenced in Detroit Saturday
(April 26), with tremendous success. The event, which was co-hosted by Eminem
and Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and FM 98 WJLB, drew over 17,000 participants.
"It was so big and much better than the
New York Summit," HSAN Chairman Russell Simmons told AllHipHop.com. "Kwame
Kilpatrick, half the Congressional Black Caucus, State Senator Council Members,
and of course the rappers all came out and showed tremendous support."
Leading rappers and moguls attended the summit,
to create an "action agenda" on various issues, including support
for public education, community economic development, expanding career opportunities
and voter registration.
Dr. Benjamin Chavis, President of the Hiphop
Summit Action Network, announced the creation of "Hiphop Team Vote,"
a national voter registration and education program.
"We are standing stronger and stronger after
each Hiphop Summit," Chavis told AllHipHop.com. "Detroit was off the
hook. We are going to register 20 million new young voters to make a regime
change, right here in America."
The program aims to register four million new
voters per year over the next five years, primarily from the 18-30 year old
age group, throughout the United States.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) was on hand
to make a special presentation and encouraged youth to turn their cultural impact
into political power.
Nas and Eminem were both honored for their contributions
to youth empowerment. Nas was awarded the National Heroes Award for his song
and video, "I Can."
"We just stay brave and take on the enemies
as they come, whoever they be, George Bush down to whoever," Nas said.
"They’ve been trying to snuff out young black men since the beginning of
time. It ain’t gonna happen no more. So I’m standing up and speaking out and
I’m participating with all the real brothers, like Eminem, that’s speaking out
and speaking their minds. Don’t matter what color you are, as long as you real
with it from the heart. That’s why I’m still here."
Eminem was given the National Outstanding Achievement
Award for his charitable work and support of youth in Detroit and in other cities.
"I remember 7, 8 years ago, when Detroit
was growing, it was like a seed that was growing and all I ever heard and all
anybody was talking about was wanting to be the first person to blow up Detroit
and the first person to get on and the first person to do this and the first
person to do that. Everybody was just fighting for Detroit to have a voice,"
"Once I got on, I realized it wasn’t about
that. I knew there was so much talent in Detroit, period. There’s probably 10,000
MCs in Detroit that have it in their heart to just do hip hop and just be something
and they have that drive. What I’m trying to do is bring the industries here,
bring the record labels here and make them realize there’s talent in Detroit,
and to start looking.
"The Detroit Hiphop Summit’s four events
put more than 17,000 hip-hop supporters in action to take the transformation
of America to the next level," Chavis concluded.