DJ Jazzy Jeff Towns is hype.
He’s just weeks away from Mixtape Live, an old-school rap concert where he’ll perform classic tunes in front of 50 of hip-hop’s greatest emcees at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on June 17. .
“That’s crazy,” I said to Towns, one half of the iconic Grammy-winning rap duo DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, but his excitement was mixed with tight beats. was just as obvious. We’re speaking with Charlie “Mac” Alston, a longtime Philadelphia party promoter, manager, industry insider and one of Townes’ oldest friends, via three-way Zoom. He produces concerts.
“But who is there?” I asked.
“Who does it? no are you there? ‘ asked Townes.
Then, on cue, Alston began churning out names like the host rhymed: Sugarhill Gang, Three Traitors, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Angie Stone, Onyx, and CL.・Smooth, Peter Gans, J.J. Fudd, Roxanne Chante, Curtis Blow, Cold Crush Brothers, MC Shan, EPMD, Kwame, Treach.
“And that’s just part of it,” Mack said.
These artists were the foundation of hip-hop, reaching its peak popularity in the late 80’s and 90’s. Most artists claim New York as their home base, but the West Coast, where Yo-Yo plans to perform, will also be a venue. Several performers hail from Philadelphia, including Schoolly D, Tuff Crew, Da Youngstas and, of course, Townes.
“You would wish you could record this,” Alston said. “This is the soundtrack of our lives.”
“Make sure you go to the bathroom before the show starts. Once the music starts, the hits drop off quickly and furiously,” Townes snapped.
Before music was widely distributed on streaming services, DJs used mixers and turntables to produce highly stylized tapes with original beats, remixed versions of classic songs, and rhymes from new artists. was creating. They sold these mixtapes at street kiosks, in mall parking lots, or out of the back of trunks after clubs closed. Philadelphia is known for having some of the world’s best DJs making some of the hottest mixtapes. Mixtape Live pays homage to that part of hip-hop history.
Alston created a mixtape live to celebrate Black Music Month, Juneteenth, and the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. Hip-hop’s official birthday is August 11th, the day DJ Kool Herc introduced breakbeat to the dance floor at his sister’s back-to-school block party. Breakbeats are the cornerstone of rap music, and the hip-hop generation has celebrated breakbeat birthdays all year round with parties, concerts, and museum exhibits.
Ms. Townes readily agreed to DJ the concert. New York radio pioneer Kool DJ Red Alert will also join Townes on wheels of steel at Boardwalk Hall, appearing on select sets. Mack tapped Doug E. Fresh, his Human Beat Box of the beloved original, to help curate the artists and set the list. The trio were able to leverage their collection of hip-hop connections and bring the legends on board.
Local radio DJs Lady B of Classix 107.9 and Patty Jackson and Mimi Brown of 105.3 WDAS (both of whom played a central role in introducing hip-hop to Philadelphia in its early days) host the evening’s festival. .
“Telling the hip-hop story through the performances of these dynamic hosts is very important,” said Alston. “We are making history.”
Tickets range from $55-$75 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster. https://www.ticketmaster.com/50th-anniversary-of-hip-hop-mix-atlantic-city-new-jersey-06-17-2023/event/02005E7DCF91485A and in www.ppshows.com