Tag: Doug E. Fresh

Official Prince Tribute and Lineup Set for October 13 in Minnesota (VIDEO)

Billed as Prince: The Official Prince Tribute — A Celebration of Life and Music, the event is organized by the late musician’s family and estate, and will take place Oct. 13 at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center in his hometown.

The lineup also includes Christina Aguilera, John Mayer, Tori Kelly, Luke James, Bilal, Mint Condition, Morris Day & the Time, Judith Hill and Liv Warfield, the New Power Generation featuring Morris Hayes plus members of 3RDEYEGIRL.

The concert is expected to bring in more than $1 million to Prince’s estate, according to The Star Tribune.

Ice-T Breaks Down Why “Art of Rap” Festival in July is Important to Hip-Hop, Art and Music

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“The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five is by far one of the most important records known to man.  A “total knock out of the park” as Public Enemy’s Chuck D once told Rolling Stone, the 1982 record marked a pivotal moment for hip-hop.  The first of its kind, at seven-minutes rapper Melle Mel and co-writer Duke Bootee traded clear-cut lines about the everyday struggle and decay in America’s ghettos. From the ubiquitous “broken glass” to the “junkies in the alley” and how the kids that are “born with no state of mind” end up succumbing to the live fast, die young statistic. It’s an monumental piece of recording that perfectly demonstrates the foundation on which hip-hop was founded.

Beyond that though, it’s also the very record that Mickey Bentson, co-founder of The Universal Zulu Nation, and Ice-T brought up during a phone conversation with REVOLT. “Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel made one of the hardest records ever: “The Message” with no cursing. Wow. That’s unbelievable,” Bentson exclaimed.  “Where you gonna get all this stuff at? Nowhere but at the Art of Rap Festival baby.”

In 2012, Ice-T chronicled the rich foundation and importance of the hip-hop into a one hour-and-a-half epic, better known as the critically-acclaimed documentary, “Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap.” An intimate journey that uncovers the layers, elements, and science of hip-hop, the film took it back to the essence, while bringing along famous faces like Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Eminem, Q-Tip, Chuck D and many more for a discussion on the art form. Three years since he opened the conversation, Ice-T,  joined by Bentson, has added another layer (and new meaning) to the “The Art of Rap,” with an inaugural event he is calling “the most prolific and essential hip-hop festival ever.”

The Art of Rap Festival, which will take place over the course of two days in California, features a dream team line-up of emcees that range from Big Daddy Kane to Rakim, Afrika Bambaataa, EPMD, Doug E. Fresh, Grandmaster Melle Mel, King T, Kurtis Blow, Biz Markie, and more. Just like the film, the festival, which will feature co-headliners including Game and Ice-T at its July 18th Irvine date and Ice-T at the July 19th Mountain View show, takes it back to the essence.

Speaking about the summer must-attend festival, Ice-T and Mickey Bentson hopped on the phone with REVOLT and discussed just how and why this event came together.

In 2012, Ice-T, you released this film and now it has transformed into a full blown festival. How did you two come together for this?

Ice-T: Well, [The Art of Rap] happened for me, I was sitting around and for a while when you would say you an emcee, people actually had this heavy respect for you. Well the point that when you would say ‘rapper,’ people would kind of look at you like a clown. Rappers were kind of acting up and I didn’t like that, so I said you know what I want to make a film that makes people really respect the art of rap. It’s not a game, it’s real stuff. I worked really hard on my music, I grew up with [Big Daddy] Kane and Rakim and people like that, and I said this is serious business. So we shot the film, it did what it was supposed to do, make people understand that it is an art form and the next obvious move was to take it on the road. The Art of Rap Tour is meant to be about the craft and the culture of hip-hop, so we go all the way from The Soulsonic Force to somebody like The Game.

As you mentioned, this festival is about the craft and culture. Why is this such an important element for this event? 

T: We want people to take pride in what they do. If you take pride in your music, you’re going to do good music. If you look at music as just a way to get paid, then you might throw up any ol’ shit, and you also ain’t gonna represent it right, [because] when you get interviewed you gonna say any ol’ s*** — and that bothers the artists. That’s like me coming into jazz and not knowing who Miles Davis was, and there’s going to be people who’s going to have feelings about that.  Continue reading “Ice-T Breaks Down Why “Art of Rap” Festival in July is Important to Hip-Hop, Art and Music”

Michelle Obama’s Newest Initiative: Using Hip-Hop to Fight Obesity (VIDEO)

First lady Michelle Obama is distributing a  hip-hop album, complete with music videos, to fight obesity at schools across the country.

First lady Michelle Obama is distributing a hip-hop album, complete with music videos, to fight obesity at schools across the country.  In June, first lady Michelle Obama appeared in a hip-hop music video that featured rapper Doug E. Fresh, singer-songwriter Jordin Sparks and TV medical personality Dr. Oz. The catchy song urged kids to “work hard/eat right” and “tell somebody/it’s your body/c’mon.” The song was just the first of a 19-track album, the majority of which are hip-hop, to be released by the Partnership for a Healthier America, the anti-obesity nonprofit that launched in conjunction with Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! anti-obesity campaign, and a New York-based group called Hip Hop Public Health.  

The full album, which includes songs with names like “Veggie Luv,” by Monifah and J Rome, “Hip Hop LEAN,” by Artie Green, and “Give Myself a Try,” by Ryan Beatty, will be released on Sept. 30.  Let’s Move! Executive Director and White House assistant chef Sam Kass says the White House is fully behind the initiative to use hip-hop – and other genres of music – as a tool to get kids to live healthier lives.

“Cultural leaders and visionaries in our country can give these messages to kids in a way that’s not preachy. Kids are going to be dancing and listening to the music,” he says. “I think hip-hop in particular – so many kids love hip-hop. It’s such a core part of our culture …and particularly in the African-American community and the Latino community which is being disproportionately affected by those health issues.”

African-American children are more than 50 percent more likely to be overweight or obese compared with white children, and Hispanic children are nearly 30 percent more likely, according to a 2008 studypublished in Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine

If all goes according to plan, some 10 of the 19 songs on the new album will be made into music videos, much like the hip-hop video in which Michelle Obama appeared. Those music videos will then be distributed to schools across the nation – starting with 40 schools in New York City, and then to schools in San Antonio, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. The hope is that teachers will use the videos during recess, physical education classes or even passing periods to encourage kids to get moving.

Continue reading “Michelle Obama’s Newest Initiative: Using Hip-Hop to Fight Obesity (VIDEO)”

Russell Simmons Raises 1.5 Million Dollars for the Arts at Annual Art For Life Benefit

Russell Simmons raises 1.5 million dollars for the arts at annual Art For Life Benefit
Russell Simmons raises 1.5 million dollars for the arts at annual Art For Life Benefit. Michael Strahan, Nicole Murphy, Anthony Anderson, among others, were in attendance (photo by Nia Hamm)

Celebrities, activists, artists and media descended upon Bridgehampton, New York last Saturday July 28 to help raise more than $1.5 million — and counting — for Danny and Russell Simmons’ fourteenth annual Art For Life Benefit.  The event, held at Russell Simmons’ Fairview Farms East Hampton estate, helped to raise money for the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, which provides arts education opportunities for inner-city youth.

“It’s very important that kids get a chance to practice and appreciate art,” Russell Simmons said of his inspiration for the benefit and organization, because, “it informs everything that we do. Nothing happens without creativity.”  Guests included Michael Strahan, Nicole Murphy, Anthony Anderson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Star Jones, Angela Simmons and more. Youthful new faces such as Skylar Diggins, Olivia Culpo, Nana Meriwether, Melanie Fiona and Tahira Jose were also seen on the scene to bring attention to the importance of promoting culture among our youth.

Soledad O’Brien hosted the gala, while special performances included Estelle, Rick Ross and Maxwell. There was even a surprise performance by Doug E. Fresh.  This year’s theme, ‘A Field of Dreams,’ highlighted the creativity of New York City youth and honored individuals in the community for their contributions, career achievements and philanthropic work.

Honorees included Samuel Englebardt and William D. Johnson of Demarest Films, writer Walter Mosley, Ann Pasternak of Creative Time and filmmaker Tyler Perry.  Attendees agreed that the arts are an integral part of any child’s upbringing. “As a parent I want them to be able to read. I want them to be able to write and do mathematics. That’s all really important. But they also, to be human beings, have to understand how to express themselves,” Soledad O’Brien said.  The final amount raised by the Art For Life Benefit the will be announced when the online auction, hosted by Charitybuzz, closes on August 7.

article by Nia Hamm via thegrio.com

Rapper Doug E. Fresh Uses Hip-Hop To Teach Healthy Habits To Black and Latino Youth With Hip Hop Public Health

Doug E. Fresh and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer during the 2011 Soul Train Awards at The Fox Theatre on November 17, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

When hip-hop icon Doug E Fresh first graced the mic, he simply wanted to entertain the masses by doing what he loved. After building his career and subsequent fame, he decided that it was best to use his success to educate and empower others. As a father of five, and vegetarian for nearly 25 years, the 45-year-old believes that good health is essential for a fulfilling life.

“Health has always been an important thing to me. I exercise and try to take care of myself, and drink a lot of water! And I push that to my kids so that they can carry on that same energy,” said Doug E.

So when he partnered with Dr. Olajide Williams, a neurologist from New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, to join in the fight against childhood obesity, he merged two very important components of his life: hip-hop and health. The partnership produced Hip Hop Public Health, a program that uses hip hop as a way to educate African-American and Latino children about obesity and the resulting chronic and acute diseases. HHPH engages and informs students through music, videos, comic books and live shows that tour schools. As the program’s Vice President of Entertainment, Doug E. stated that he “felt like  it was necessary to take what people love, which is hip-hop, and use it as tool to get kids motivated.”

Read the rest of this story on Ebony.com.

via Doug E. Fresh uses hip-hop to teach healthy habits to black and Latino youth with Hip Hop Public Health | theGrio.