Large Professor and Stax to kickoff the Brooklyn Hip-Hop FestivalMay 22, 2007 at 10:48 am | Posted in Hip Hop News/Press Releases | Leave a comment
Mark your calendars, update your blackberries; Thursday, June 7th is the first day of the five-day bash that is this year’s Brooklyn Hip-Hip Festival. The kickoff party, held at the powerHouse Arena in historic DUMBO, BK, will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Stax Records with hip-hop luminary Large Professor working the turntables, spinning the label’s classics all night long.
Since its inception in 1957, Stax Records was a major player in the shaping and progression of the Southern and, especially, Memphis soul sound. Famed bands like Booker T. & the MGs, The Dramatics, The Staple Singers, and renowned artists like Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, and Shirley Brown all have made Stax a household name. The music created there and during that time has effected several generations and, in many ways, serves as the very root of hip-hop. Because the Brooklyn Hop-Hop Festival was created to showcase the entire spectrum—from past to present to future—of hip-hop culture, The Room Service Group and Brooklyn Bodega see this premier event the perfect start to a great month.
The role of MC, DJ, and Producer are equally critical to the culture and Large Professor fits the bill of all three. Large Pro came into hip-hop in 1988, at 17 years old, assisting the legendary Paul C with programming the beats for Eric B. & Rakim’s Let The Rhythm Hit Em’. While working with Eric B. and Rakim, Large discovered another young kid from Queensbridge and began to produce three tracks for his solo album. This young’n was Nas and the album was Illmatic. From there, Large joined the group Main Source as MC, producer, and DJ, and recorded one classic album, Breakin’ Atoms. Most known for his beats, Large Pro’s production credits read like the cover of your most prized mixtape: Beats for Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Nas, Busta Rhymes, Masta Ace, The X-Ecutioners, Akinyele, Tragedy Khadafi, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Mobb Deep, Diamond D, Cormega, The UN, Boot Camp Clik, and Jurassic 5. In 1996, Large Pro, now fully footed in the same creative neighborhood as his Native Tongue contemporaries, released his two famous singles, “Ijuswannachill” and “The Mad Scientist,” both where to be on a solo record, The LP, which was unfortunately shelved by the label, but still made its way to the streets via heavy bootlegging. The album finally saw an official, and well-deserved, release in 2002 alongside his second solo release, 1st Class.
Large Professor, the seasoned vet who has left his mark in much of hip-hop’s history, spinning the very soulful Stax classics that are partly responsible for hip-hop today creates the incomparable atmosphere only the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival can bring. To show how perfect this pairing of DJ and vintage label is, the Main Source track ‘Live at the Barbeque,’ off of the Breakin’ Atoms album, has become famous in hip-hop lore because it contains the first Nas verse the public ever heard and also introduced us to the one, and only, Akinyele. This historic track, a drum-heavy, piano-stab banger, was sampled from Melvin Van Peebles’ now-famous Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song album, a Stax record released in 1971. On June 7th, in Brooklyn during the opening of the 3rd annual BHF, it only makes sense that Large Pro should be dropping the stylus on these vintage classics once again.
This first event of The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival will take place at the powerHouse Arena in DUMBO, BK. Tickets are free, but you must be a member of Brooklyn Bodega to receive your ticket. The 3rd annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival is produced by Brooklyn Bodega, The Room Service Group, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Brooklyn Bridge Conservancy, and in conjunction with powerHouse Books. For more information about ticketing, performers, venues, and past Festivals, please visit www.brooklynbodega.com.