BU stole a moment with

DJ Kool Herc, the father of Hip Hop

DJ Kool Herc
Left: DJ Kool Herc, Right: moderator Michael Arceneaux at the Miller Theater500 W Kilbourn Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53203. This event took place on Friday, August 24, 2018. 

As you may already know, August 11th 2018 marked Hip Hop’s 45th year anniversary. In honor of this special day, Milwaukee Alderman Khalif Rainey along with a host of local businesses and generous sponsors collaborated to create Hip Hop Week Mke which included a series of awesome events in the City of Milwaukee. Friday, August 24th the “Couch Conversation with DJ Kool Herc” held in downtown Milwaukee. The legend was interviewed by influential author, speaker and social critic Michael Arceneaux. Ed Hennings, a local hip-hop artist, activist and entrepreneur led the event with stories about his experiences and words of encouragement for aspiring artists. The events all took place between August 20th – 26th, 2018. 

“We’re using the platform of hip-hop to have conversations in a climate where people will be more receptive to it,” Rainey said. “This is truly meeting the people where they are.”

In 2017, Hip Hop was marked the biggest genre of music in the United States. The incredible impact and influence its had on world is amazing to say the least. “Being a lifelong hip-hop head, I know the power of hip-hop,” Ald. Khalif Rainey said, “The power of hip-hop allows us to have conversations about things that are important to us in our community.  It’s the medicine in the peanut butter and chocolate approach.”

Dj Kool Herc
From left -right: Gee owner of Gee’s Clippers; Venisha Simpson owner of BU Clothing Co.; the living legend, DJ Kool Herc and Sir Wayne owner of Sir Wayne Knights & Dragons. (Photo credit: OptixSkillz Photography)

Rainey is using that power to make an impact in the community he serves with Hip-Hop Week MKE with shows including Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah, Young Buck, Lil Flip, Rico Love, Mike Jones and of course the founder himself.

There were also events free to the public concerning health and wellness, financial stability and civic issues — all through the lens of Hip Hop.

“When you’re young, you learn; when you are old, you understand.”

– DJ Kool Herc — Founder of Hip Hop

Clive Campbell, better known as DJ Kool Herc stood over 6ft tall and had the quick wit and charisma. Many times during his interview, he referenced his favorite songs and movies, even singing and acting them out as he walked us down memory lane. He talked about the day the magic happened at 1520 Sedgwick Ave in the Bronx and the lessons he learned from his father. He shared his knowledge and insight with people who weren’t even in the mind of conception at the time the Hip Hop movement began. Despite the direction Hip Hop is taking now with mumble rap among other things, DJ Kool Herc considers all artists of the genre his children. Never fully receiving the credit or compensation he is due for being the founder of the biggest music genre in America, he is still humble in his gifts and happy he could share them with the world. His contributions have changed the way we express ourselves as a people.

Venisha Simpson, owner of BU Clothing Co. was able to grab a moment with the living legend after the interview. “Meeting DJ Kool Herc was an absolute honor. This was definitely an encounter I will never forget!”, said Simpson. The biggest impact this made was allowing the people to see how their actions today can affect change across the globe in the years to follow. Hip Hop continues to grow and give voices to those without fair fight in this game called life. Events like Hip Hop Week Mke can help to close that gap by uniting the community.

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