It has long been believed that the birth of hip-hop happened on August 11, 1973, when DJ Kool Herc threw a party in the Bronx that brought together the sounds, the culture and the dancing that would come to define the genre.
In honor of the upcoming 50th anniversary of hip-hop, this week’s newsletter is all about the music.
Something to sip on…
Michelle Joyce and LaJoyce Brookshire aren’t just friends, they are partners in raising awareness about the contributions of women in the music industry.
Joyce, former director of marketing for Bad Boy Entertainment and Brookshire, former publicity director for Arista Records, are the architects of “Women Behind the Mic,” a book series, panel conversations and a planned docuseries.
Joyce told CNN that she and Brookshire felt a sense of “erasure” in 2017, when the documentary “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story” came out. Though women led many of the departments within the Bad Boy record label, they felt the contributions made by those women weren’t reflected on screen.
“We started to look at the different biopics and documentaries that were coming out, and the women who worked on them, on those projects in the music industry, were being left out,” Joyce said.
They are working to change that and reach future generations.
“Women Behind the Mic” recently partnered with New York City’s Department of Education for “Attaining A Seat At The Table” at The Apollo Theater, a master class about careers in the entertainment industry that attracted 1,200 junior and senior high school students.
“This is an excellent opportunity for our students to explore viable, behind-the-scenes career pathways within the music and entertainment industry,” David C. Banks, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, said in a statement. “This experience will give them a chance to learn from professionals who can expose them to post-secondary opportunities in the Arts while generating multiple skill sets which translate into revenue streams.”
I like the sound of that.
One thing to talk about…
Ja Rule was back in the headlines recently for some controversy, but not regarding what you may think.
Yes, he did say that he’ll have nothing to do with a potential Fyre Festival 2.0, a planned do-over of the ill-fated 2017 music festival the rapper had partnered on with William McFarland.
But it was what Ja Rule didn’t say that stirred people.
During an interview with The Shade Room, he talked about Nicki Minaj being recognized for her contributions to hip-hop and said there were “no female MCs out and about before Nicki came out.”
“Before her the last one was like, Lauryn Hill. And then before her it was, like, Queen Latifah and Salt-N-Pepa and artists like… MC Lyte,” Ja Rule said.
That caused a backlash online by people who pointed to artists he overlooked, including Foxy Brown, Lil’ Kim and Missy Elliott.
Let’s be real: not everyone can be named all the time, so let’s give Ja Rule some grace on this one.
You should listen to…
Podcasts are my jam.
And what’s better than one about the history of hip-hop hosted by a rap legend?
Nas and media personality Minya “Miss Info” Oh have “candid conversations with legendary figures who developed the culture and the new generation of voices carrying hip-hop forward” in “The Bridge: 50 Years of Hip-Hop.”
With Nas at the helm, the guests are as varied as fellow rapper Snoop Dogg to actor/DJ Idris Elba.
It’s for hip-hop aficionados and casual listeners alike.
If you are looking for something even more in keeping with this week’s theme, Jazzie Belle hosts the “Women in Hip Hop” podcast, where she sits down with insiders, artists and more for conversations about the industry.
Both podcasts are found wherever podcasts are available.
Cannot wait to watch…
What better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop than learning about its history?
Netflix has you covered with four seasons of this documentary series that traces the genre’s evolution through the decades.
No longer do we have to wait for Thursdays to throw it back.