Streams

Old School Hip-Hop in the Park: Mostly a Family Affair

Monday, August 02, 2010

The last night of the eighth annual hip-hop jam in Crotona Park in the Bronx came to a close last Thursday night with a performance by the one of the original rap crews, the Cold Crush Brothers.

Hundreds of people turned out, including many families who wanted to show their children how hip-hop got started in the Bronx. Several icons of hip-hop were on hand, including Grand Wizzard Theodore (the inventor of the scratch), the Cold Crush Brothers and others who made seminal contributions to the evolution of hip-hop. There were young b-boys practicing their moves, while DJ Cash Money spun funk and soul records. Later, another pioneer DJ, Grandmaster Caz, showed off his skills juggling beats and mixing classic funk, soul and hip-hop records.

The grand finale of the night was a performance by three of the Cold Crush Brothers, who showed off their unique blend of harmonized rapping. WNYC's Abbie Fentress Swanson has an audio montage above of voices from the park. Check out images from the event below.

B-boys in Crotona Park warming up
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

B-boys in Crotona Park warming up

DJ Cash Money spins funk, soul and hip hop records, while hyping up the crowd
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

DJ Cash Money spins funk, soul and hip hop records, while hyping up the crowd

Young b-boys
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Young b-boys

One of the youngest dancers in the crowd
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

One of the youngest dancers in the crowd

Tightening up kicks before they dance
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Tightening up kicks before they dance

B-boy in Crotona Park
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

B-boy in Crotona Park

Local resident Rob Calderon has been coming to the park to listen to music since he was a child
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Local resident Rob Calderon has been coming to the park to listen to music since he was a child

The disco outfit was a hit, although Dexter Ash is not a dancer
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

The disco outfit was a hit, although Dexter Ash is not a dancer

Comanche (left) one of the founding members of the Black Spades gang, which became The Universal Zulu Nation and Sam
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Comanche (left) one of the founding members of the Black Spades gang, which became The Universal Zulu Nation and Sam "hit man" Hollins (right).

Three members of the original Cold Crush Brothers
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Three members of the original Cold Crush Brothers

Grand Wizzard Theodore, the inventor of the scratch
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Grand Wizzard Theodore, the inventor of the scratch

Young b-boys in Crotona Park
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Young b-boys in Crotona Park

Young b-boy
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Young b-boy

Toney Tone of the Cold Crush Brothers in Crotona Park
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Toney Tone of the Cold Crush Brothers in Crotona Park

Grandmaster Caz of the Cold Crush Brothers in Crotona Park
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Grandmaster Caz of the Cold Crush Brothers in Crotona Park

JDL of the Cold Crush Brothers
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

JDL of the Cold Crush Brothers

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Comments [4]

EZAD from Manhattan

Dear Mr. Stephen Nessen
Great Photo's The Cold Crush Brothers have been doing Hip Hop cira@ 1978 and we love what we do. On the picture number 10 you have listed the name as Tony Tone and That is Easy A.D. not Tony Tone because Tony Tone is the cold crushbrothers D.J. not the M.C. History is so important.

Sep. 13 2011 09:41 AM
stevio from Los Angeles, CA

IMHO these parks jams are a vital and key part of 'knowing' hip hop. The few Tools of War promoted events I've attended in 2009 and 2010 mix entertainment with an authentic experience that attract hip hop fans from far and wide (so in effect they've paid a lot to attend.) This is because the existing media platforms only support the new (commercial?) forms of hip hop and these park jams are the time in the year that something authentic can be celebrated.

Yes, the latest hip hop star may not headline, but hopefully there's enough room to support the park jams events so hip hop/DJ pioneers can continue to share their passion with the community.

Stephen, UK

Oct. 01 2010 02:10 PM
Christie Z from NYC

Greetings Boris!

The Crotona Park Jams are advertised as featuring Hip Hop DJ pioneers and legends EXCLUSIVELY on the bill. Every year we have great attendance and every year, we deliver exactly what we advertise.

There are youth of all ages at the jams - esp. young dancers, including bboys & bgirls - not to mention the world travelers from Europe, Asia, Russia, Australia, etc. who come to the Bronx just to be there to RE-EXPERIENCE what it must have been like back in the 70's and early 80's.

It is very rare to find lineups like we put together - feat. DJ legends only - with no new artists on the lineup - and for that matter - little to no MCs.

There are tons of events for new artists but so few for the legends. I used to complain about what this promoter could do better or how a certain event should be organized until I realized - "Hey, I can do this myself and put exactly the type of shows I want to see on in the parks." You can too!

Here's the link to how to apply for a special events permit in the NYC Parks. It's only $25 to apply and then if you get approved - it's a $45 sound permit from the NYPD precinct that covers that park. http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_permits_and_applications/permits_and_applications.html

I hope you can put together the type of events that you want to see!!

Sincerely,
Christie Z-Pabon
http://www.myspace.com/toolsofwar

Oct. 01 2010 12:00 PM
Boris Cruz from Harlem, NY

When are the organizers of these Crotona Park Jams going to include the youth and artist of today to be part of these events again? There is a real disconnect with the young generation and the elders who don't try to get the new generation involved unless related to some old school pioneers or dancers. The same old performers every year and nothing new, that is one of the reasons why these kids don't attend much or support these events and do not respect the old school. A lot of people tell me when these park jams first started back in the early day, they would have kids of all ages from all parts of the city as well as adults and would pack the park up and showcase the new talent with the older. Now its like a old school reunion without the current generation involved at all. Maybe if they focus more on the kids there can be better attendance and impact on the youth who do not know the Hip-Hop Culture History but know street gang Culture from California.
Where will Hip-Hop be in a few years with this current disconnect where the young one's of today will not know who are the pioneers were due to the separation.

Aug. 03 2010 03:34 AM

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