I was introduced to hip hop when I was rather young, circa the Special Ed days. I had a cousin that was five years my senior and I thought she was the coolest person alive so anything she was into I studied. She was into real hip hop. Because I was always a mature kid, she hung out with me voluntarily (plus she was always grounded) so we spent countless hours in her room listening to hip-hop… Nas, Raekwon (the purple tape), Wu Tang, Mobb Deep, Biggie and their producers all became my close confidantes.
My cousin eventually moved out to go to college, and then became a St Louis transplant but the bond with music she induced in me stayed till this day. So when the opportunity to cover the 10 year anniversary edition of the WNYU Halftime shows, I was thrilled. The Halftime show has been a right of passage to the hip hop community for the past decade Over its lifespan the college radio show, hosted by DJs Eclipse and Skizz, has featured hip-hop superstars (50 Cent, Eminem, Kanye West) during their formative years. The event brought out a slew of hip-hop’s elite artists including DJ Premier, Alchemist, Joell Ortiz, Termanology, Masta Ace, Bobbito Garcia, Beatminerz, among others.
There are moments when things in your life come full circle, and this event was one of them. To be able to meet and build with artists I grew up listening to, the pioneers of the genre and see it back in its rawest form, made everything else in my life makes sense. I remembered why it is I do what I do, for the love… and being present there made all the sacrifices worthwhile.
Cheers to real hip hop, free styling, spinning live, and getting star struck over meeting legends like DJ Premier and Alchemist. I ran into hip hop last week, and it’s alive and well.
Check out a clip from the show here.