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World Famous Hip-Hop Family Day nears return

Artist Rakim to headline

This past April, the 8th annual World Famous Hip-Hop Family Day was put on hold as the world stopped for an unprecedented global pandemic.

Instead of gathering 20,000 people on Columbia’s Main Street, Love, Peace & Hip-Hop paused its festival plans until a safer option emerged to deliver its highly-anticipated event to an eagerly awaiting audience. During this time of waiting and watching, an uprising of consciousness and activism in the form of Black Lives Matter demonstrations has swept across the country. Turnout at BLM demonstrations has ranged from dozens to tens of thousands of diverse protesters in over 2,500 small towns and large cities—all during the most devastating pandemic in modern history. “This year, our festival isn’t about big crowds, but it is about big ideas,” said festival director Janet Scouten. “In light of the growing Black Lives Matter movement, we believe it’s more important than ever to share this family-friendly event celebrating Black excellence and hip-hop culture. We also believe it’s vital to share it in a way that allows as many people as possible to celebrate joyfully—and distantly—in a difficult year.” After six months of careful deliberation and consultation with local and state authorities, Love, Peace & Hip-Hop presents a revised version of its annual festival that remains true to its mission of spreading love, peace, unity, and having fun. Love, Peace & Hip-Hop announced this week that this year’s revised 2020 World Famous Hip-Hop Family Day will be presented on Sunday, Oct. 4, headlined by legendary hip-hop artist Rakim. The concert starts at 6 p.m. (with a 5 p.m. door) to a limited-capacity live audience. The show will be filmed inside Columbia's The Senate in front of a small, socially-distanced live audience of 250 people in compliance with the governor’s executive order No. 2020-08. To ensure the health and safety of guests, staff, and artists, this will be a seated only show following all COVID sanitation, facial mask, and social distancing guidelines. To further ensure health and safety, tickets will only be sold by the table to maintain social distancing between personal groupings and/or families. Tickets are mandatory for admission and are available for advance purchase through The Senate. A livestream of the show available free to online viewers. As part of its larger fundraising effort, Love, Peace & Hip-Hop is hosting a GoFundMe campaign to help cover the significant livestream costs of the event, which will allow South Carolina families to enjoy the show online in real time. Donors can visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/world-famous-hiphop-family-day-2020 to learn more and donate. “Since my first conversation with Rakim’s camp at the start of the pandemic, they maintained that he wanted to not only honor our contract, but give Columbia an unbelievable show. This made me hopeful that if an opportunity presented itself, we could still deliver our festival to our loyal and supportive audience,” said Love, Peace & Hip-Hop founder FatRat Da Czar. “Under CDC guidelines and state and local mandates, the safest way to pull that off would be with limited people in a socially-distanced and secure space, which unfortunately adds a ticket price. But with 10 days to go, I’m still hopeful that we can raise enough awareness and money to deliver this show free of charge, statewide, in a virtual capacity.”
[caption id="attachment_45572" align="alignright" width="150"] Hip-hop artist Rakim.[/caption] In addition to performing from his widely acclaimed musical catalogue, Rakim will converse on stage about issues of the day and how hip-hop is uniquely positioned as an important voice on these matters. Hailed as “the greatest MC of all time” and compared to Thelonious Monk, Rakim first emerged onto the world stage in 1986 as one half of the golden age hip-hop duo, Eric B. & Rakim, with the release of their first single, “Eric B is President.” Rakim has received numerous accolades from Billboard, Rolling Stone, MTV, and a host of others. Few hip-hop lyricists are recognized as having as great an impact on the development of the genre as Rakim. He stood out as the first MC to employ internal and multisyllabic rhymes, which was a change from the simple rhyming patterns used in early ‘80s hip-hop Finally, because increased voter registration and turnout are key to fair and equal representation for all citizens, Love, Peace & Hip-Hop will combine the power of music with the power of voting. To support civic engagement by each and every citizen, this year’s World Famous Hip-Hop Family Day will host, for the first time in its history, a non-partisan voter registration drive in partnership with Secure the Ballot and HeadCount. The date of the show, Oct. 4, is the last day to register online to vote in South Carolina, and Love, Peace & Hip-Hop will be promoting online voter registration before the 11:59 p.m. deadline.

About World Famous Hip-Hop Family Day

Presented annually by Love, Peace & Hip-Hop, this multi-day celebration capped by a free, family-friendly festival normally takes place the second week in April each year. World Famous Hip-Hop Family Day has grown from 3,000 in attendance in 2013 to 18,500 in 2019, drawing attendees from across the Southeast and around the country to downtown Columbia, South Carolina. This one of a kind, Black-owned festival gathers the community to enjoy the best and brightest live performers, DJs, B-Boy dance crews, hip-hop visual artists, and craft and food vendors.

About Rakim

Rakim is widely regarded as one of the most influential and skilled MCs of all time. Emerging onto the world stage in 1986 as one half of the golden age hip-hop duo, Eric B. & Rakim, with the release of their first single, “Eric B is President,” Rakim has received numerous accolades from Billboard, Rolling Stone, MTV, and a host of others. Rakim’s recordings, including Paid in Full, Follow the Leader, and The 18th Letter, have sold in the multi-millions worldwide. Paid in Full was named the “Greatest Hip-Hop Album of All Time” by MTV in 2006. Few hip-hop lyricists are recognized as having as great an impact on the development of the genre as Rakim. He stood out as the first MC to employ internal and multisyllablic rhymes, which was a change from the simple rhyming patterns used in early ‘80s hip-hop.
Photo by Isabella Mendes from Pexels

Jason Rapp

Hip-Hop event back in the capital city

World Famous Hip-Hop Family Day is tomorrow

Hip-Hop Family Day is an unforgettable day of fun with the best and brightest live performers, DJs, dance crews, hip-hop visual artists, and craft and food vendors Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The free event is presented by Love, Peace & Hip-Hop and the City of Columbia.

Big Daddy Kane is the 2019 headliner. A Grammy Award-winning artist who began his career in 1986 as a member of the rap collective the Juice Crew, Big Daddy Kane is widely considered one of the most skilled MCs in hip hop and has been ranked on several lists as one of the top 10 MCs of all time.

Kane started out as a Brooklyn battle rapper before joining Juice Crew alongside Marley Marl and Biz Markie. His 1988 debut album, Long Live the Kane, featured the hit "Ain't No Half Steppin'” and “Raw.” His LP, It’s A Big Daddy Thing, featured “Smooth Operator,” “Warm It Up,” and “I Get The Job Done.”

“Big Daddy Kane is of the most profound lyricists of all time—hard enough for the fellas and smooth enough for the ladies, with second-to-none showmanship,” says Love, Peace & Hip-Hop founder and executive director FatRat Da Czar. “We’d attempted to secure him for the festival two other times, but the third time is the charm. He will undoubtedly set the SODA on fire.”

Along with headliner Big Daddy Kane already in place, adding The Sugar Hill Gang and Grandmaster’s Furious Five featuring Melle Mel to the lineup allows World Famous Hip-Hop Family Day to pay homage to the earliest groundbreaking days of hip-hop.

“With ‘Rapper’s Delight,’ the Sugar Hill Gang took hip-hop music from the streets to the airwaves. Subsequently, the Furious Five’s ‘The Message’ used the airwaves to tell the full story,” said FatRat Da Czar.

Released on the iconic Sugarhill Records label, “Rapper’s Delight” was the first rap single to become a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The song became an international hit and sold over eight million copies. The Sugar Hill Gang went on to release hits such as “Apache,” “8th Wonder,” and “Living in the Fast Lane.”

The Sugarhill Gang was originally comprised of Wonder Mike (Michael Wright), Master Gee (Guy O’Brien), and Henry Jackson (Big Bank Hank - d. 2014). Wonder Mike and Master Gee later teamed up with Henry Williams (Hendogg) and DJ T. Dynasty, who have both performed with the group for over 20 years.

“We are very excited to celebrate the 40th anniversary of ‘Rapper's Delight.’ As an iconic and global success, it stands as a true testament of the power of hip hop music," said Hendogg. "To see the crowds of people, generation after generation, sing this song and to be able to perform it all over the world is a blessing."

Through the use of turntablism, break-beat deejaying, and conscious lyricism, the Furious Five was significant in the early development of hip hop music. With their platinum-selling classic, “The Message,” the group was catapulted to international recognition and eventual induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“This is history in the making,” said Scorpio. “We've seen the evolution of hip-hop and rap go from a place where there was a lot of naysayers to it being a full-blown respected genre taking over pop culture. It's a blessing to be successful doing what we love and now joining together to continue to make history.”