By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 19, 2021 at 1:07 PM

After hosting two successful installments of the annual Hip-Hop Week, the City of Milwaukee has halted the event for the second year in a row.

"It is with sadness that I am announcing the indefinite postponement of Hip-Hop Week MKE for 2021," said organizer Ald. Khalif J. Rainey in a statement released Wednesday.

"While I would love to bring forth the usual positive energy, music, information and resources that Hip-Hop Week MKE is now known for across the city, the state and the nation, the current state of affairs has made it nearly impossible to pull off in a meaningful way."

When the event was first held in 2018, it hosted Ghostface Killah and Baby Drew, along with hip-hop pioneer, DJ Kool Herc, setting a high bar.

In 2019, Megan Thee Stallion was the star of a full slate of events that showed Hip-Hop Week was a top-notch festival.

Then, of course, coronavirus put the kibosh on the 2020 festival and this year's event is suffering the same fate.

"The improving but still uncertain conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic have created a logistical labyrinth for most artists and for venues," said Rainey. "Sponsors and partners are also stretched for resources and staff, and in a difficult situation.

"I look forward to that day (hopefully in the not too distant future) when I hold a launch news conference on the first day of the NEXT Hip-Hop Week MKE."

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.