The City of New York and the Universal Hip Hop Museum hosted their first homecoming event in the Bronx on Monday, August 16.
The jam, located on Orchard Beach, was a sure-shot old-school jam with many pioneers to boot.
Acts like the Furious 5 Featuring Grandmaster Melle Mel & Scorpio, Kool Mo Dee, DJ Hollywood, Grand Wizzard Theodore, Soul Sonic Force, T La Rock, Busy Bee, DJ Kid Capri, DJ Jazzy Joyce, Fantastic Five, Joeski Love, CL Smooth, The Ultramagnetic MCs, Ras Kass, Pop Master Fabel, and Nice & Smooth performed. Singer Monifah was in the crowd.
Hosted by Uncle Ralph from Music Video Box, a few politicians graced the stage like Mayor Bill De Blasio (whose office co-produced the series with the UHHM), Senator Chuck Schumer, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., State Senator Jamaal Bailey, Political Strategist Larry Scott Blackmon and others.
One of the two headliners was The Ruler aka Slick Rick.
His set was rocking as he blinded us with his platinum and diamonds — there is not one with trunk more exquisite than the 56-year-old, MC Ricky D. As he ran through a medley of his hits, it is clear to see why he is such a sought after artist. His showmanship is classy and representative of the crown in the culture that he dons.
KRS-One ended the show, proving he is still #1. He did a few of his classics like “My Philosophy,” “Criminal Minded” and “Loves Gonna Getcha,” but most of the show was meaningful & empowering freestyles and new material.
The Teacher’s class was in session, schooling the thousands of attendees on their responsibility to hold each other up. As he spoke about organization, he said that the first step is not about money or corporations, but it is about community and relationship. He instructed to crowd to “forgive at least two people” tonight when you leave. That is the first step in having an organization becoming each other’s sibling — and truly understanding what Hip-Hop is! He denounced derogatory rap, a theme that has lasted over his 30+ professional career. He punctuated this sentiment by saying “F##k Hot 97” and “F##k XM Sirius” radio.
His stance is that they monetize off of the degradation of Black and Brown culture, and by supporting them with our attention and money (Sirius is subscription-based), we participate in our own demise and the destruction of communal unity.
One way to express this community was by ending his show, sharing the light with the emcees that paved the way for him and those who were inspired by him.
AllHopHop.com was there and check out this iconic cypher featuring: Coke La Rock (the decorated first emcee of all time), Hakim Green from Channel Live, Kool Mo Dee, Ras Kass, Kid Capri (yes, he rapped), and the Blaster Master, himself.
Hip-Hop lives on. The next concert is Tuesday, August 17 at Midland Beach on Staten Island and will feature Raekwon & Ghostface Killah, Rob Base, Crystal Waters, DJ Chuck Chillout, EPMD, Force MDs, Hakim Green, Kool Keith, Pharoahe Monch, Rikki, HeeSun Lee, and Lizzy Ashleigh.