Today I was given a very rare Hip Hop gift thanks to Jermaine Charles and the good folks at Audible in Newark. I was blessed to sit on a panel with the awesomeness that is the man, the myth and the OG legend, Coke La Rock.
For those of you who are not sure who that is, you sit in good company and that’s according to the man himself. You see, as the world celebrates the Golden Anniversary of Hip Hop, it has been remiss in its applause for all parties involved in the creation of the culture and Rap music genre.
Coke La Rock was at that Kool Herc party that night at 1520 Sedgwick. In fact, he was the cat on the mic. Thus meaning that he is a part of the legend just like Herc. Trying to divorce his name from the phenomenon that would become “Rap” is like trying to separate peanut butter from jelly after the sandwich has already been made. It simply can’t be done. Nor should it be.
I listened to this man tell a tale of frustration and triumph simultaneously as he is overjoyed with the attention he’s getting as of late but has felt the cold shoulder of neglect for his contributions prior to the recent celebrations. What a slap in the proverbial face that must be to watch the free world cake off on something you helped create but have seemingly never been given either proper credit or compensation for. Yikes.
So, it was an honor to sit next to this man and thank him not just for what he’s done, but for not giving up on the culture that he helped to create. Hearing his story was absolutely fascinating and it was an honor to be present for it. It’s something I will put in my own personal Hip Hop highlight reel in my head. This was a great day for the culture. And it was all thanks to Audible. Because of them, today…Hip Hop Culture won.
Now moving forward, let’s all do a better job of getting the story straight and making sure we salute and applaud all principle parties involved. It’s the least we can do for those who created this thing we all claim to love so much.
Can you dig it?