“We’re definitely expecting a good night and want everyone to have a good time and dance,” Shavone Williams, public relations and community development coordinator, said before the show. “I’m looking forward to seeing Naughty by Nature.”
She wasn't wrong. In front of a packed crowd of 2,000 fans, these rap legends gave everyone a night to remember.
“It’s all about love and peace,” said Carl Jarrell of Bushwick, who added there is nothing better than old-school hip hop.
In 1979, Kurt Walker, a 20-year-old from the Bronx whose stage name was Kurtis Blow, signed a contract with Mercury Records to release the song “Christmas Rappin.” This was the first time a major label promoted the hip hop genre, and it sold over 400,000 copies.
Blow went on to release 10 albums over the following 11 years and enjoy success as an actor and producer before becoming an ordained minister and founding The Hip Hop Church in Harlem.
“My life is like a dream,” he said. “I keep seeing miracle after miracle. Who would ever think that we would be so relevant and important in society?”
Hip hop today has changed because artists rap much faster and their rhymes are much more complicated, Blow said. In October, Blow will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.
On Wednesday, March 11, Blow along with Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel, were among the hip-hop pioneers who received official proclamations from the City Council.
John Bowman, better known as DJ Kool, grew up in Washington, D C. and became renowned as a rapper when he released his chart-topping song “Let Me Clear My Throat” in 1996. Kool was pumped up to perform at the casino.
“Another day, another good show,” Kool said.
Naughty by Nature rose to fame with the hit song “O.P.P.” in 1991. Naughty member Vin Rock, said no one ever thought three best friends from a high school in New Jersey would ever make it. He said they knew they were big time when they won their first American Music award in 1992.
“We put it in and it worked,” he said. “It was nothing we planned. It’s a blessing.”