Hip-Hop Week MKE is back for a second year and I’m excited! Last year was amazing; I had the opportunity to see Ghostface Killah in concert and hear the legendary D.O.C speak in an intimate conversation, all a part of the only event of its kind in the nation, created by Ald. Khalif Rainey – who made an appearance on the infamous Breakfast Club radio show last week to discuss the nationally recognized Hip-Hop Week MKE.
This week, we celebrate the history and culture of hip-hop through the lens of health, financial literacy and civic engagement! With that said, my picks are a special edition, focused on this innovative event that helps make Milwaukee the amazing place we love and call home. The event kicked off Monday with a press conference, happy hour mixer and even a concert on The Hop!
Here’s what you can look forward to the rest of the week:
Tuesday, Aug. 20
Let’s focus on the youth for a moment. DJ Tony Touch is a breakdancer, singer-songwriter, producer and DJ of Puerto Rican descent, and he is doing a youth DJ tutorial hosted by Ald. Jose Perez.
This free event takes place from 3-4:30 p.m. at the Mitchell Street Public Library. Adults are welcome – but bring your kids or share with youth you know that may be interested in learning the skill of being a DJ.
Later that evening, for those 21 and up, catch the legendary DJ Tony Touch in action as he spins at The Cooperage for free from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., following a live podcast of "F Yo DJ" happening at the same location.
Wednesday, Aug. 21
I think I’m kinda smart and I love trivia – especially when it’s a familiar topic. So meet me at the second annual Hip-Hop Trivia, sponsored by one of Milwaukee’s dopest clothing lines, The Classic Shoppe. The free game fires up at 4th Quarter Sports Bar, 2722 N. MLK Drive, from 8-11 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 22
So, I snatched this from the website because the description shouldn’t be tampered with, even by me: "On the 40th anniversary of the release of hip-hop’s biggest breakthrough song, "Rapper’s Delight," we thought the timing couldn’t be better to create the world’s first Hip-Hop Museum – REMIXED! Instead of the standard sleepy permanent museums that most folks are used to, we thought it was time to change the perception of both museums and the way in which we pay tribute to the original pioneering music icons of hip-hop. And since there has never been a Hip-Hop Museum, why not make the first one a REMIX of the traditional museum experience. What could be more hip-hop than that?"
And guess what? The Hip-Hop Museum and Pop-Up Experience Exhibit is coming to Milwaukee for Hip-Hop Week! You can witness this experience along with a hip-hop happy hour at The Rave a few times during the week: 5-9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, as well as 12-6 p.m. on Sunday. Don’t miss this!
After the museum, you can check out "Ladies First," a musical tribute to the women of classic hip-hop and R&B, at the Marcus Center for Performing Arts at 7 p.m. This event is curated by B~Free – and it’s free.
Friday, Aug. 23
Tonight, the Hip-Hop Legacy Concert & Awards – presented by the creator of The Source Awards – is happening at The Rave. Did you hear me? The Source Awards is a real hip-hop staple, and their creator has his hands on this – in Milwaukee. Need I say more? Wait, there IS more: Honorees and performers include one of my all-time favorites and a legend in the rap game Scarface, as well as Bun B (R.I.P Pimp C), Mystikal, Devin The Dude, Do Or Die and Milwaukee’s own Coo Coo Cal, plus a guest performance by Benny The Butcher and more special guests to come.
The program starts at 7:30 p.m. followed by the concert from 9-11:30 p.m. This is a ticketed event, so check here for admission – and don’t forget the Hip Hop Museum is open prior to the event.
Earlier in the day, catch DJ Envy of The Breakfast Club for a Hip-Hop Seminar On Financial Literacy & Real Estate at Gee’s Clippers, found at 2200 N. Dr. MLK Drive from 3-5 p.m. Also, don't miss "Music On The BLT" at the Beerline Trail (BLT) Performance Stage at 3334 N. Holton Ave., with local artists like Corey Pieper, Shle Berry, Jazzaveli and DJ Nu Stylez all hitting the stage from 5:30-8 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 24
Today, it’s gonna be a little political, with a hip-hop twist.
First up is the Hip-Hop & Criminal Justice Reform Seminar – highlighted by a screening of the "Free Meek" documentary. This special showing is hosted by The Larry Hoover Project and Attorney Justin A. Monroe, Esq. at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society, found at 2620 W. Center St. from 10 a.m. until noon. This documentary was created to further illustrate the magnitude of the injustices woven into both his case and highlight how others are also unjustly caught up in the probation system, especially in Philadelphia.
Hosted at the same location at 1 p.m. is Hip Hop Goes to the Polls with Brad Jordan, better – well, formerly – known as Scarface from the legendary Ghetto Boyz. Jordan threw his hat in the political arena this year, running for city council in his hometown of Houston, Texas.
In conjunction with Hip-Hop Week MKE, today has been deemed a #DayOfLove by Dr. Ramel Kweku Akyirefi Smith, a leading mental health professional in Milwaukee. In contrast to some of the negativity and violence that has plagued our community, please be conscious today about being benevolent to others. Snap a pic while committing an act of kindness and post it to social media with the hashtag #DayOfLove and let’s overflow everyone’s timelines with LOVE.
Sunday, Aug. 25
The week closes out showcasing Milwaukee’s hip-hop legends with The Band Bazaar Summer Jam featuring Adi Armour, Ray Nitti, Ray Rizzy, Coo Coo Cal and Mr. Goldfangaz himself, Baby Drew. This will indeed be a highlight of the week as the mighty Cigarette Break band will back all of the artists, which isn’t typical for any of them. The live music will be an added touch to take the show over the top. Mr. J’s Lounge will host this event, with tickets on sale now at Mr. J’s and on Eventbrite for $20 in advance: https://tinyurl.com/yygofo36.
For the full Hip Hop Week schedule, visit www.hiphopweekmke.com/.
And remember: This is only a glimpse of the amazing things happening in the lovely place we all call home, so try to get out and partake in some of it. You only live once – that's my motto! Live, love, laugh and enjoy Milwaukee. Until next time!
Born and raised in Milwaukee, a lover of life and and a connector of people, I'm a mother, a real estate developer, a philanthropist, a singer and more. And last, but most definitely not least, I love Milwaukee!
I often get asked – by people I know and don't know alike, out of towners and MKE locals – what is there to do here? Is there any live music tonight? What's a good place for a date? What's a good place to hang with a group of friends? You get the point...
So I've decided to share my weekly picks of cool happenings in and around our lovely city. I may repeat some "regulars," and the list by no means is comprehensive, but it will give you glimpse of some of the great things our great city has to offer for entertainment.