Pictured from left to right – Duce Spyder, Dupre “Do-It-All” Kelly, Essex County Commissioner President Wayne L. Richardson, KRS-One, Duce Martinez, and Jose “Airborn” Lopez.
(Newark, NJ) – On May 20, 2022, Essex County Commissioner President Wayne L. Richardson welcomed Hip Hop Legends KRS-One, Duce Martinez, Duce Spyder, Jose “Airborn” Lopez, and Pop Master Fabel to Essex County College as part of Hip Hop Appreciation Week.
Hip Hop Appreciation Week is recognized every year in the third week of May, and aims to acknowledge and appreciate the actual existence of Hip Hop itself, while celebrating the many aspects of Hip Hop Culture. This year it was celebrated May 16th – 22nd, and the theme was SOLIDARITY. Fans and students from “The Temple of Hip Hop” – an online group founded by KRS-One that meets weekly and educates participants on Hip Hop history and culture – came to Essex County College from as far as Colorado and Canada to take part in the educational seminar moderated by KRS-One.
Commissioner President Richardson offered greetings on behalf of the Board and welcomed the guests and panelists to Essex County. While acknowledging that the Bronx was the birthplace of Hip Hop, President Richardson – himself a lifelong resident of Newark – made sure to point out the significant contributions Newark and Essex County have made to hip hop culture.
“As we all know, and as ‘The Blast Master’ KRS-1 has said on many occasions… Hip Hop started in the Bronx!” President Richardson stated, “That being said, we are in Newark and Newark has made a tremendous impact in the Hip Hop Community.” He continued, “The story of Hip Hop could not be told without Newark artists such as Redman, Dupre “Do it all” Kelly from the Lords of the Underground, and Queen Latifah – who has given back to her community through her voice as an artist, her stature as a successful actress and role model for our youth, and her actions as an investor in affordable housing for the residents of Newark. These artists – as well as Naughty by Nature, Lauren Hill, and Wyclef Jean and many others call Essex County home. So on behalf of them, I welcome you to Essex County.”
The panelists discussed a variety of topics including their experience as dancers and performers, historic events that influenced them as artists and young men, and their Latin roots and the influence of Latinos in Hip Hop. KRS-One stated, “Latino culture brought vibrancy to hip hop. The styles, fashions… the invention of the ‘fat shoe laces’ came from Latinos.” He continued, “We’re not just studying Hip Hop from a point of view of words, history and the material evidence of Hip-Hop’s past. We are also looking at the influence on attitudes and culture.”
Other events that took place as part of 2022 Hip Hop Appreciation Week included – the Diggin in The Crates Road Trip with Troy Ceasar and Governor Slugwell; the Local Spins Fest Series; and the Strictly Business Hip Hop, Tech & Entrepreneurship Panel.
Looking for more information on the Essex County Board of Commissioners? The Essex County Commissioners Mobile App is now available for download on the Apple and Google Play Stores.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
For Additional Information – Contact:
Kyalo Mulumba, Public Information Officer
Essex County Board of County Commissioners
973-621-4452 (phone) 973-621-5695 (fax)