From the Executive Director of the Hip Hop Culture Center in Harlem
On Nov 13th and 14th 2009, The Hip Hop Culture Center had the honor of hosting the Zulu Nations 35th Anniversary. In addition the worldwide phenomenon known as Hip Hop celebrated its 36th Birthday!
In these days of Fast Food rap music, it was dope to see The Zulu Nation serve up a healthy dose of that good old fashioned Hip Hop that was birthed in Da Bronx.
For the uninitiated you may ask yourself “What is a Zulu Anniversary about?” Well my mello let me pull your coat. Imagine if you can an event that’s part family reunion, part Hip Hop vendor bazaar, and a flashback party from Bronx River or the T-Connection. How do I know? I remember well that pre-record deal Hip Hop. Back in those glory days I was down with a crew called Touch of Class, Nice and Nasty M.C’s. Then cats called me Mexi-Ray, and I put some time in the business of yes, yes yall. I had a diddy back in 79 called The Ultimate Rap. Pumpkin, one of the best live Hip Hop drummers ever, blazed the track. So for me bumping into folks that I haven’t seen in years was a blessing. Shout out to Boston Road crew and 78 park.
Imagine seeing Black Spade members from the Jimmy Carter era in their colors reppin lovely. Picture Break dancers, of all ages, all nationalities getting it in, off of records in their pure form. I’m talking those beats that you just don’t hear on the radio. Joints like Mexican, Nautilus, Apache, Catch a Groove. Crate boys stand up. Visualize the 1 and 2’s being manipulated, scratched and cut on in ways that the good people from Technique and GLI never imagined when they were invented. Conjure in your mind the main players from the formative years of Hip Hop exchanging war stories, catching up enjoying fellowship, snapping, telling jokes all in PEACE. And yo…that was just Friday!
Now Saturday was all that and a bag of chips…
The people in the house and on stage was a Who’s Who of the Boom Bap, too many to mention. Feel free to peep the pictures on the link (http://picasaweb.google.com/h2c2culture/ZuluNation35thAnniversary#). My three favorite moments were…
- Toney Tone setting up his Crazy On high powered sound system
- Yoda telling someone, “Whatever Brother, that’s $30”
- Trouble Funk on stage in all its Go-Go glory destroying the building, with Bambaataa doin a two step.
Bam, Zulu…Happy Anniversary. It’s because of organizations like yours that real Hip Hop will never die.