A great day of hip-hop is upcoming in the Bronx Saturday, Aug. 12, in Church Alive Community Church at Sedgwick Avenue and Hip-Hop Boulevard. “Hip-hop is many things,” said Kurtis Walker, aka Kurtis Blow, when asked about what hip-hop means to him. “It’s a way of life.” Walker, a hip-hop pioneer, is the first rapper and the first to sign with a major record label.
According to the event flyer, some of the notable people who will be involved in the event will be hip-hop legends and pioneers such as Coke la Rock, who is credited as the first Master of Ceremonies of hip-hop; Rodolfo Franklin, aka Clark Kent, who is a producer and legendary hip-hop DJ; and the Imperial Jay Cee, who is known for being the DJ for Clive Campbell, aka Kool Herc. Campbell is known for being the father of hip-hop. Frederick Crute, aka Kool DJ Red Alert, is one of the founding fathers of hip-hop. The hip-hop event will be hosted by Kyle Brinson, famously known as Kool Kyle the Starchild, who is another hip-hop pioneer.
The Amsterdam News spoke with Van Silk, who is a legendary hip-hop promoter, Brinson, and Walker about the upcoming hip-hop event and hip-hop as a culture and a way of life. “[Hip-hop is] the way we communicate,” said Walker. “Rap is the biggest part of culture. It’s communication on steroids. Hip-hop is the innate love of the drum.”
Brinson said that hip-hop is a “natural expression.” According to Brinson, hip-hop is the voice of the people that no one heard in the cities.
Silk said, “Hip-hop is new way of life. We [the hip-hop pioneers] created something for the Black community to understand. Hip-hop means a whole lot to me.”
Brinson and Walker spoke about the significance of the hip-hop event and what they plan to accomplish with it. According to the hip-hop pioneers, hip-hop started in the Bronx and they want to acknowledge the hip-hop culture and the people who developed it. “Coke la Rock, Clark Kent and Kool Herc invented hip-hop,” said Brinson. “They bought it to the table.”
In addition to acknowledging and appreciating the culture, Walker said, “We are reaching out to the Bronx to take Christ back into their lives.”
Brinson said that “hip-hop is all connected.” He added, “Hip-hop is all about love and energy and should never be forgotten.”
To prevent the hip-hop culture from being forgotten, both Walker and Brinson, along with the Hip-Hop Boulevard 5 and current hip-hop ambassadors, will honor the hip-hop ambassadors who have died. The late hip-hop ambassadors include Disco King Mario, Cowboy, Kool DJ AJ, Whiz Kid, Kid Delight, Mr. Magic and others. Silk told the Amsterdam News that this event is about giving the pioneers acknowledgement for creating the hip-hop culture.
Asked about what the new school can learn from the old school and vice versa, the hip-hop pioneers offered helpful advice. According to Walker, what the old school can learn is the different styles and flavors because “it’s a challenge for the old school to keep up.” What the new school can learn from the old school, Walker said, is to know how to “rock a crowd and it is important to sell records.” For both schools, Walker said that the important thing is to save money.
Brinson said the new school can listen to the old school because times have changed. “Listen to us when we tell you something,” he said “The industry today is commercialized and it’s about money and greed; your job is to do what you can do to stay on top of that. That’s where hip-hop is losing. It’s not educational.”
He added, “You can put your foot down and protect your identity.”
According to Walker, the New York Yankees are expected to attend the free event, which will start at noon and continue until 5 p.m.
“Hip-hop is the forefront of the Black community,” concluded Brinson.