The Hip-Hop 50 celebrations are still in full swing. New York City, in particular, erupted with events aimed at celebrating the culture the weekend of August 11, the same day in 1973 when DJ Kool Herc and Cindy Campbell threw their iconic “Back To School” jam at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx.
Hip-Hop’s designated birthplace also hosted Live Nation x Mass Appeal’s ambitious Hip Hop 50 Live concert at Yankee Stadium. Meanwhile, the site of the Universal Hip-Hop Museum (UHHM) was flooded with legendary rap figures, including Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Flavor Flav, Melle Mel and Scorpio of the Furious Five, Def Jam Recordings’ first president Bill Stephney, MC Shan, famed fashion designer April Walker and iconic photographers Martha Cooper, Glen E. Friedman, Vikki Tobak and Ernie Paniccioli.
On deck for the UHHM celebration was MC Sha-Rock, the first female MC and member of the Funky 4+1. As someone who helped shape the culture, MC Sha-Rock has witnessed Hip-Hop’s evolution from what many suspected would be “just a fad” to the billion dollar business it is today. But, like many of her peers and predecessors, she sees something fundamentally wrong with how the architects are being treated.
“I would like for all corporations around the world who have benefited monetarily from the the foundational elements of Hip-Hop culture to give back to its founding members as well as provide safe places and programs that will uplift the youths in underprivileged communities,” she tells AllHipHop.com. “The culture of Hip-Hop and its core elements has saved me and others from going down the wrong path.
“It was and still remains as an outlet for many of us in cities, states and countries. Hip-Hop culture has brought us together globally, unlike any genre of music and culture. Peace, unity and fun is what it was built on. Respect to all.”
MC Sha-Rock expounded on her thoughts in an Instagram post uploaded on Monday (August 27). She not only called for a sit-down with the politicians who’ve used Hip-Hop culture as a “footnote,” she also emphasized how important it is to give back to underprivileged communities.
“Since this is the #50thanniversaryofhiphopculture 1970 circa and a founding member of the mc/rap culture I @iammcsharock #thefirstfemalemcofhiphopstreetculture is going to #washingtondc The culture of Hip-Hop was built on peace unity and fun, which became a global phenomenon. I’m requesting to have a meeting with all of the senators, congressmen and all other representatives who uses #HipHopCulture as their footnote. And to all, who says that they respect the contributions of the founding members of this billion dollar business we call #HipHop.”
“Not only are my concerns for all who have contributed to the Culture of Hip Hop and it’s core elements, but to all of you whom have contributed throughout the years by way of your voices, that have echoed throughout the 50th years that were and are still rocking on the radio. Something has got to change. If I, we or all don’t stand for something, we’ll continue to fall for anything. The culture of Hip-Hop is not for sale, it was always inclusive.”
MC Sha-Rock ended her caption with a call-to-action, asking Hip-Hop enthusiasts who are “down for the cause” to contact her. She says “everyone has always been invited to have a seat at the table. No one should be left behind. If money can trickle down to other facets of areas throughout the world, then we would like to see where it has trickle back into our communities. I’m sending my Global respects to all of you.”
She concluded, “Respect to all media outlets and magazines who have interviewed me or covered me throughout the years.”
Read the entire post below.