Detroit Hip-Hop Summit Draws Over 17k People

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 "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 "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,"

Eminem added.

"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.

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