LEHMAN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS presents
Live on Stage – Catch the Fever!
HIP HOP FEVER 2018
Kurtis Blow, Black Sheep, Kool Moe Dee, Rob Base,
Soul Sonic Force, Nice ‘N Smooth Junior M.A.F.I.A., Rah Digga,
Grand Puba, Alicia Myers, Taana Gardner, TLA Rock, Joe Love Ski, The Fearless Four
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in association with Sal Abbatiello of Fever Records celebrates a night of HIP HOP music on Saturday, May 5th, 2018 at 8pm. In the early 1970’s the hip hop musical genre was born in the neighborhoods of the South Bronx. The HIP HOP FEVER 2018 concert will feature performances by KURTIS BLOW “The Breaks,” BLACK SHEEP “The Choice Is Yours,” KOOL MOE DEE “Wild Wild West,” ROB BASE “It Takes Two,” SOUL SONIC FORCE “Planet Rock,” NICE ‘N SMOOTH “Hip Hop Junkies,” JUNIOR M.A.F.I.A. featuring Lil’ Cease “Get Money,” RAH DIGGA “Tight,” GRAND PUBA “360 (What Goes Around),” ALICIA MYERS “I Want to Thank You,” TAANA GARDNER “Heartbeat,” TLA ROCK “It’s Yours,” JOE LOVE SKI “Pee Wee’s Dance,” THE FEARLESS FOUR “Rokin’ It”. Hosted by SAL ABBATIELLO. Music by DJ MARLEY MARL, DJ HOLLYWOOD and DJ TRI STATE JERICKO. Produced by Lehman Center and Sal Abbatiello.
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College/CUNY at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. Tickets for HIP HOP FEVER 2018 on Saturday, May 5th, 2018 at 8pm are $60, $55, and $45, and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 (Monday through Friday, 10am–5pm and beginning at 4pm on the day of the concert), or through online access at www.LehmanCenter.org. Lehman Center is accessible by #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd. and is off the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway. Low-cost on-site parking is available for $5.
HIP HOP started in the famous South Bronx dance club, Disco Fever, that was originally a local bar operated by Allie Abbatiello, a local owner of several Bronx nightclubs. Abbatiello’s son Sal Abbatiello worked as the bartender and the bar’s night manager, George “Sweet G” Godfrey introduced Sal to a new local, yet unnamed music form where DJs rapped over records at a local park performance of Grandmaster Flash. In 1977, Sal started booking Tuesday nights at the bar, with the first show featuring Grandmaster Flash and the 3 MCs. It was an instant success and the club, now called Disco Fever was soon booking DJs and rappers exclusively. Named in 1983 the “Rap Capital of the Solar System” by People Magazine because of the many rap and hip hop stars and producers like Russell Simmons, Run-D.M.C., DJ Junebug, Sugarhill Gang, DJ Hollywood and Kurtis Blow that started their careers there. Disco Fever flourished until 1985 and was used as the location shoot for Krush Groove, a film based on the inception of Simmons’ Def Jam Records.
KURTIS BLOW grew up in Harlem, NYC, started out as DJ Kool DJ Kurt, rapping by the time he was twenty, and became the first rapper to be signed by a major record label – Mercury Records, releasing “Christmas Rappin’” in 1979. He followed up with “The Breaks” which quickly sold over half a million copies and other hits like “Party Time,” “Basketball” and “If I Ruled the World.” Over the next eleven years he released ten albums before moving into producing, working with such acts like The Fat Boys, Run-D.M.C., Lovebug Starski, Full Force and Wyclef Jean. In 1994 he became the guest MC for The Hip Hop Nutcracker, an urban dance retelling of Tchaikovsky’s classic, which tours the country annually. And in 2016, Blow became the Chairman of the Board of the virtual Universal Hip Hop Museum, which plans to open physically in the Bronx in 2022.
BLACK SHEEP is a hip hop duo known for their witty lyrics and unique rhythms composed of Andres “Dres” Vargas and William “Mista Lawnge” McLean, both native New Yorkers from Queens, who met as teenagers in North Carolina before both of their families moved back to New York. They debuted in 1991 with the hit song “Flavor of the Month” from their album A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, which went gold and reached #15 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop album chart. A second single from that album, “The Choice Is Yours”, rose to the #1 spot on the Hot Rap Singles chart and was honored by VH1 in 2008 as #73 of the 100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs. Their second album Non-Fiction made it to #24 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop album chart. In 2010, Dres released Black Sheep – From The Black Pool of Genius. In 2012, Dres joined up with Bronx native Jarobi White, who had performed with A Tribe Called Quest for 20 years and was also raised in Queens, to form the group evitaN (“Native” spelled backward). Their 2012 release Speed of Life includes the singles “Keep Keeping On”, and “Moon, Stars & Sun” (with guest artist Rah Digga).
KOOL MOE DEE is a New York City Hip Hop and new jack swing rapper who formed his first hip hop group, the Treacherous Three in 1978 with DJ Easy Lee, L.A. Sunshine, Special K and Spoonie Gee. Their first single was 1980’s “New Rap Language”, the B-side release on Spoonie Gee’s single “Body Rap”. “New Rap Language” made the group famous for their speed rapping style. From 1981 to 1985, they released several popular singles including “At the Party”, “Put the Boogie in Your Body”, “Feel the Heartbeat”, “Whip It”, and “Gotta Rock”. Going solo in 1986, he released his self-titled album Kool Moe Dee, which reached the #20 spot on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop album chart. His next release How Ya Like Me Now (1987), went platinum, charted at #4 and contained the hit “Wild Wild West”. Next was 1989’s Knowledge is King, went gold and contained the hits “They Want Money”, “I Go To Work”, and “All Night Long”. In 1990, he performed on Quincy Jones’ album Back on the Block with fellow rappers Melle Mel, Big Daddy Kane and Ice-T, winning the 1991 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Kool Moe Dee has collaborated with many artists including the Sugarhill Gang, Quincy Jones, Will Smith, Doug E, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. The author of There’s a God on the Mic: The True 50 Greatest MC’s (2003), he also currently hosts the online rap talk series Behind The Rhyme.
ROB BASE is a hip hop rapper from Harlem, New York City. His 1988 multi-platinum breakout single “It Takes Two” was recorded with DJ E-Z Rock and uses multiple samples from the James Brown/Lyn Collins song “Think (About It).” As a duo, their second hit song “Joy and Pain” also proved to be a smash the following year. Going solo in 1989, Base released “Turn It Out (Go Base)” which went gold on the hit dance charts. In 2008, “It Takes Two” was ranked number 37 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.
SOULSONIC FORCE was formed in 1982 in the Bronx by the popular DJ Afrika Bambaataa (Kevin Donovan) with DJ Jazzy Jay (John Byas) and rappers Mr. Biggs (Ellis Williams), Pow Wow (Robert Darrell Allen), The G.L.O.B.E. (John Miller) and Cosmic Force. Raised in the gang culture of the South Bronx, Bambaataa began hosting Hip Hop parties in 1977 as a way to draw angry kids out of the gangs. Credited as one of the originators of “Breakbeat DJ-ing”, he started experimenting with rap music mixed with Euro-electronica. Borrowing an electronic keyboard hook from the German band Kraftwerk, Soulsonic Force’s first single “Planet Rock” went gold. That song and 1983’s two follow up hits “Looking For the Perfect Beat” and “Renegades of Funk” inspired a whole new form of “electro-boogie” blend of rap and dance music that influenced the development of electro funk and today’s techno music.
NICE ‘N SMOOTH is a Bronx, New York hip hop duo known for their humorous rhymes and catchy hooks. Comprised of “Greg Nice” Mays and Darryl “Smooth B” Barnes, plus DJ Teddy Tedd, they had their first big break as guests on Big Daddy Kane’s 1989 single “Pimpin Ain’t Easy”. That same year they released their debut self-titled album which contained the singles “Early to Rise” and “Funky for You”. Nice ‘n Smooth achieved radio fame with the song “Sometimes I Rhyme Slow” from their 1991 album Ain’t a Damn Thing Changed, which also contained the popular MTV single “Hip Hop Junkies”. They have collaborated with Macy Gray, Gang Starr, the Beatnuts, and the Black Eyed Peas.
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council. The 2018 Winter/Spring Season is made possible by Goya Foods, Con Edison, TD Bank, the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund, the Rudin Foundation, the Hyde and Watson Foundation, and the friends of Lehman Center.
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