ASIAN FINAL – DHARNI (SNG) vs TWO.H (KOR) – Grand Beatbox SHOWCASE

Congratulations to both artists

judges: Reeps One (UK), Bee Low (Ger), Skiller (Bul), Alem (Fra), Phil Merck (CH) & Babeli (Ger)

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Hip-Hop History when Marley, Kane, Kool G, Craig G and Masta Ace performed the Symphony Live at RSC38

The great Big Daddy Kane also headlined the 38th Annual Rock Steady Crew concert at Summerstage Central Park. The smooth operator emcee, whose rich baritone ensures you pay attention to his unique rap lyrics, nearly caused a stampede when he brought out his fellow pioneers and artists Kool G Rap, Masta Ace, Craig G and legendary producer Marley Marl to perform the ‘Symphony’ which is a classic hip-hop hit.

Kane had more surprise guests for the hip-hop fans, he invited Hip-Hop Pioneers Rodney Stone of Funky Four Plus One and Easy A.D. from the Cold Crush Brothers.

PH (aka Pumpkinhead) MEMORIAL TRIBUTE CONCERT

The PH MEMORIAL TRIBUTE COMMITTEE presents …
PH (aka Pumpkinhead)
Performances by
Immortal Technique 
Pharoahe Monch
Jean Grae
Sean Price
Rockness Monstah
Smif N Wessun
+

The Plague (Hydra, Tonedeff, PackFM, Substantial, Poison Pen, Bad Seed, ArchRival, MrMecc, DJ DP One)
Team Homi
Mr. Metaphor
(Brooklyn Academy)
Skyzoo
UG (CellaDwellas)
Shabaam Sahdeeq
The Arsonists
ANC
(Mazzi & Paze)
Dujeous
EOW
(End of the Weak)
Thirsten Howl 3rd
(Lo Lifes/Love & Loyalty)
DP One (Turntable Anihilists)
John Robinson
Music by
KID CAPRI | EVIL DEE | SCRAM JONES
+ MANY Special Guests!
@SANTOS PARTY HOUSE – 96 LAFAYETTE STREET, NYC
* Remember, we are doing this for PH’s kids.
Use these links on Social Media to help spread the word:
Facebook Event Page: bit.ly/phconcert
Online Tickets: bit.ly/phshowtix
Hashtag: #ripPH

Remembering the Late PH – Tribute to Pumpkinhead

The excitement was toned down a bit when time was set aside to solemnly pay tribute to Robert Diaz, or Pumpkinhead. This great rapper from New York City passed on at 39 years on June 9th. He released numerous solo albums and his most outstanding was ‘Orange Moon over Brooklyn’ and ‘Dymanic’

Rock Steady Crew 38th Annual Celebration pays tribute to Pumpkinhead on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at Central Park in New York City
Rock Steady Crew 38th Annual Celebration pays tribute to Pumpkinhead on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at Central Park in New York City

In his remembrance, his wife, sons and family and fellow emcees put on a honorable show. Featured artists included Pack FM, Mr. Metaphor of the Brooklyn Academy,  Jean Grae, Blitzkrieg, GMS, Tonedeff, Bad Seed, WildChild and DP One gave a performance with Pumpkinhead’s son, Raiden. There was a surprise tribute performance by Immortal Technique, Poison Pen and Diabolic.

If you are a fan of his music and contribution to hip-hop, you can support his wife and children and Legacy here

– http://www.youcaring.com/shawntay-ocasio-366664

RSC38 was the Best Live Hip-Hop Concert of the Year

I was excited to attend the widely anticipated Annual Rock Steady concert at Summer Stage Central Park, on July 26th.  The best part about this wonderful event was that entry was free, like the block parties back in the days! Some of the greatest names in Hip-Hop came out to celebrate the elements of Hip-Hop.

There was a Whole Lot of Stars Who Blessed the Stage Sunday Night!

Hip-Hop Legends Whodini and UTFO give a Live Performance at the Rock Steady Crew 38th Annual Celebration held on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at Central Park in New York City
Hip-Hop Legends Whodini and UTFO give a Live Performance at the Rock Steady Crew 38th Annual Celebration held on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at Central Park in New York City

Whodini, the world renowned hip-hop brick layers, brought their veteran stage show to the annual hip-hop event. The group consisting of Jalil Hutchings and John Fletcher “Ecstasy” and Grandmaster Dee really lived up to their fame of being great hip-hop & rap legends.

Originally from Brooklyn, the R & B Rap group put on a polished and masterful performance while giving tribute to the late great DJ Mister Magic. They even shared the stage with hip-hop’s first back-up dancers known as the Keystone dancers, later known as U.T.F.O. They had the crowd dancing energetically to their hip-hop classics.

The great Big Daddy Kane also headlined the show. The smooth operator emcee, whose rich baritone ensures you pay attention to his unique rap lyrics, nearly caused a stampede when he brought out his fellow pioneers and artists Kool G Rap, Masta Ace, Craig G and legendary producer Marley Marl to perform the ‘Symphony’ which is a classic hip-hop hit.

Big Daddy Kane invites Masta Ace, Craig G, Kool G Rap, and Dj Polo to perform Marley Marl's hip-hop classic the Symphony live at the Rock Steady Crew 38th Annual Celebration held on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at Central Park in New York City
Big Daddy Kane invites Masta Ace, Craig G, Kool G Rap, and Dj Polo to perform Marley Marl’s hip-hop classic the Symphony live at the Rock Steady Crew 38th Annual Celebration held on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at Central Park in New York City

Kane had more surprise guests for the hip-hop fans, he invited the original members Funky 4 + 1 and the Cold Crush Crew.

The event also features artists such as EMC, Your Old Droog, The  Queen Herawin and Ea$y Money.  The element of Deejayin was in full effect when DJ Scratch, DJ JS-1, Evil Dee got on the 1s and 2s.

One of the main highlights of this memorable event was the marking of 38 successful years of boyism and breakin by the Rock Steady Crew. This group was first set up in New York City in the Bronx by Jimmy Dee and Jimmy Lee. Crazy Legs and numerous members of the RSC carry on the traditions of the culture.

Atsushi Ats Kono Live Performance at the Rock Steady Crew 38th Annual Celebration held on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at Central Park in New York City
Atsushi Ats Kono Live Performance at the Rock Steady Crew 38th Annual Celebration held on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at Central Park in New York City

They are renowned for their innovative break-dancing moves which leave one gasping in wonder! In this event, they provided us with a taste of their great moves which left each of us in breathtaking awe!

Big congratulations to them on their great achievement!

The excitement was toned down a bit when time was set aside to solemnly pay tribute to Robert Diaz, or Pumpkinhead. This great rapper from New York City passed on at 39 years on June 9th. He released numerous solo albums and his most outstanding was ‘Orange Moon over Brooklyn’ and ‘Dymanic’

PH’s wife and two sons thank the crowd and fans at the Pumpkinhead Tribute performance at the Rock Steady Crew 38th Annual Celebration held on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at Central Park in New York City
PH’s wife and two sons thank the crowd and fans at the Pumpkinhead Tribute performance at the Rock Steady Crew 38th Annual Celebration held on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at Central Park in New York City

In his remembrance, his family and fellow put on a honorable show. Featured artists included Pack FM, Mr. Metaphor of the Brooklyn Academy,  Jean Grae, Blitzkrieg, Wilechild gave a performance with Pumpkinhead’s son, Raiden. There was a surprise tribute performance by Immortal Technique, Poison Pen and Diabolic.

If you are a fan of his music and contribution to hip-hop, you can support his wife and children and Legacy here  – http://www.youcaring.com/shawntay-ocasio-366664

All in all, this was the most well organized musical event I have attended all year! The greatest part was getting to listen to my most favorite artists do what they do best!

I surely look forward the next concert!

Brooklyn Bodega Hip Hop Institution Conference

On July 8, 2015, I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to attend a wonderful Hip Hop conference which proved to be both enlightening and hip-hop related. This one day conference was one among 5 events of the 4 day Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival.

This huge event was held at Medgar Evers College, New York. The main topic of the day was ‘Hip-Hop, Technology and Reforming and Re-investing in our community.’

The sponsors were Nielsen and Teaching Firms of America, Inc.

The Aim of the Conference

An enterprise known as ZeroCampaign was formed last year by the following:

  • Brooklyn Bodega
  • Hip-Hop Institute
  • The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival

The aim of ‘Zero’ was to particularly reduce the incidents of:

  • Gun brutality
  • Police violence
  • Domestic as well as spouse abuse

This initiative endeavored to eliminate these vices to ‘zero.’ The Zero Campaign does not just aim to deal with community organizing but to form lasting solutions for the above issues involving the culture of violence and other problems found in our community.

Great Lessons of the Day

Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival Day 1 Institution
Kenneth Montgomery, Geeta Dandbhir and Rafiq R. Kalam discuss injustice and police brutality at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop institution conference

On this great day I had the opportunity to listen to speakers talk about how we have shown our anger on the streets and how we are under scrutiny from the world; we intend to show them we are tired. Many years have been endured, going through violence and abandonment in city neighborhoods such as Baltimore and Ferguson.

People such as Walter Scott, Mike Brown and Freddie Gray have fallen victim to police misconduct. These atrocities against minority communities with low income need to be stopped once and for all.

In this regard, the conference was convened to suggest a varied kind of protest involving political and economic awareness. Genuine change involves:

      • Changing the criminal justice system.
      • Eliminating unscrupulous politicians.
      • Having more meaningful dialogue.
      • Motivating youthful men and women to pursue their visions.
      • Setting up our individual businesses

The Participants

When we arrived, we were served with refreshments as we listened to the keynote address presented by Reggie Williams (founder, Ambrosia for Heads). The event was hosted by Wes Jackson and Ebonie Jackson of the Brooklyn Bodega and the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival.

Wes Jackson, Reggie Williams and Ebonie Jackson at Medger Evers College for the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Institution Conference
Wes Jackson, Reggie Williams and Ebonie Jackson at Medger Evers College for the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Institution Conference

Crucial Lessons Learnt

Other great speakers were Aubrey Flynn of Combs Enterprises,  Brandon Hixon of We Make Music, Chad Foster of Nielsen Entertainmenta and Anthony Frasier Phat Start Up.

Chad Foster, Brandon Hixon, Aubrey Flynn and Anthony Frasier discuss business and technology at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Institution Conference
Chad Foster, Brandon Hixon, Aubrey Flynn and Anthony Frasier discuss business and technology at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Institution Conference

The speakers emphasized to us that we have a great impact on culture; we build the content and are the major consumers. However, we are not gaining wealth. The panelists pledged to talk about methods of searching for business prospects in our neighborhood.

The panelists discussed the changes brought about by technology to the industry of Hip-Hop. I learnt a lot about the developing association between these two.

Robert Stolarik and Daryl Khan (journalists and filmmakers) discussed their planned documentary on the murders which were racially triggered.

Daryl Khan and Robert Stolarik discuss their film
Daryl Khan and Robert Stolarik discuss their film “Criminal Justice: The Battle of Marianna at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Institution Conference

A discussion on the reforms which should be carried out on criminal justice was held and about reforms in the pipeline and what more should be done.

I am glad I attended this well organized event; however, of utmost importance is that I became more aware of the real issues behind the negative experiences we face in our society and how to effectively deal with them.

On the set of “Detroit Red” with Mickey Factz

I was invited to a video production shoot for a new project by Mickey Factz (aka Mickey MauSe) called Detroit Red from his 740 Park Avenue mixtape. This was 1 of a 3 part segment of the project. Like every project the Bronx artist has put out since 2007, it brings a sense of awareness, artistic creative insight, and his lyrical niche of telling a story. I got to sit with the hip-hop prodigy for a Q & A on his 740 Park Avenue project :

ZP: Tell me about your collaborative team that worked on this project with you?
MF: Well the director Nadia Tayeh, I’ve known for years. Her affinity for Malcolm X supersedes mine. She approached me with the idea and I was very open to it. Ndzine, was the DP and he shot it pretty well. The other people involved were all instrumental in bringing this to life. Even Aleem Bilal who produced the record.
ZP: As soon as you got on set, you guys jumped right in to the project’s check list, how did you prep for today’s project?
MF: The initial day of shooting was interesting. I had shaved my whole face which I had never done before. It was definitely different from anything I’ve ever done. Putting on the clothes and looking in the mirror, I knew I had actually become Malcolm during those times. It was very exhilarating to say the least. Putting on the different outfits and watching the images on the screen really gave me a sense of what was going on.
ZP: You were very selective with the images you to used in the backdrop. They seemed to put you in a zone why you were taping. Tell me about that?
MF: Well once the images came on and the camera was rolling, I got into full artist mode. And the images set the mood for a young Detroit Red, filled with anger. A lot of the emotions were derived from the character that young Malcolm exhibited.
ZP: Who inspires your art of story telling? 
MF: I truly don’t know. It comes from another place that I cant explain. Its just really easy to convey the thoughts that I have in a story telling format.
ZP: You visited the barbershop twice, first to shave off your beard and also for the second taping of you getting your “hair fried”, meaning getting it relaxed. How was your experience with having straight hair?
MF: My head felt weird. Well when the products went in my hair, that process felt really good. I loved it. Then when it dried and I was done, i felt like I had a helmet on. It was so crisp and hard. Not smooth and wavy as I expected. Like a Frankie Lymon or something. Haha. But all in all the the experience was one to never forget.
ZP: You’ve been 100% hands on for the 740 Park Avenue project, are you a independent artist? What is the pros and cons of having label support and being independent?
MF: I am an independent artist doing it myself and its hard because in completely by myself. Label support offers budgets and garners more media attention. Being indie you rely on the people that support you genuinely and hope certain things catapult from that.
ZP: Your fans are amazing, how do you keep the connection so strong? 
MF: I have to continue to give the fans what they want and need. They need real music. Inspiration. Understanding. Heartfelt emotions. Love. Dreams. I try my best to cater to them and speak to them daily. They are human just like me.
ZP: Describe what is the difference between Factz and MauSe?
MF: Factz is a direct correlation to who I really am. He is a writer. A thinker and a true historian of hip hop. Harsh critic but fun to be around. MauSe is an artist. A hard worker and a sarcastic conundrum. He loves to make people think and smirk from seeing his art. MauSe also is from a different era than Factz.
ZP: Do you have any video game collabos coming soon? What game would you like  to work on?
MF: None at the moment. But hopefully my EA relationship will rekindle soon.
ZP: What do you want the new listeners to get from this project?  
MF: Inspiration and to never quit. Ever.

Boogie Mics in the Bx

I was amongst royalty last Friday Night when I visited my old stomping grounds in the Bronx. If you are a upcoming emcee in the Bx, you may know of an open mic series in hunts Point, BX called the Boogie Mics. This month event is presented by a new generation of hip-hop pioneers named The Rebel Diaz Arts Collective, grand master emcee was John Mega of G.T.P. and Warren Britt and features DJ Illanoiz and DJ Charlie Hustle.

A wide collective young and aspiring emcees artists hit the stage with natural and radiant energy performing their original songs to a crowd of hip-hop heads and fellow artists. For some artists it was a first time experience performing in front a live audience. “We’re just gonna have fun and do what we love…” said a new upcoming duo.

The night was closed out by Bx’s lyrical Mike Tyson, Chris Rivers. The heir to the Hip-Hop’s P.R. Ambassador, Big Pun.

The Rebel Diaz Arts Collective (RDAC-BX) is a group of Bronx based Hip-Hop artists and educators. Running a performance and multimedia space that aims to utilize Hip-Hop culture as a means for education and self-empowerment in our community. Check them and support!

Photos by Tyrone Z. McCants / Zire Photography

Videos by The Hip Hop Crib

John Robinson and PVD @ the Brooklyn Museum

John Robinson and PVD @ the Brooklyn Museum

Target First Saturdays at The Brooklyn Museum jumped off with an incredible performance by John Robinson and PVD.

John Robinson is quite simply one of Hip-Hop’s gems. Lyrically blessing the halls of the museum with hip-hop, melodies and live instruments. There were also some surprised guest appearances. Some hip-hop heads will remember him as a artist from the group, Scienz Of Life. They were a part of Bobbito’s Fondle ‘Em Records label and an integral part of the late 90′s early 2000′s Golden Era.

Let's take it back to the roots.