Bronx, NY—Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in association with Sal Abbatiello of Fever Records celebrates one night of HIP HOP music on Saturday, April 30th, 2022 at 8pm. In the early 1970’s the hip hop musical genre was born in the neighborhoods of the South Bronx. The HIP HOP FEVER 2022 concert will feature performances by SLICK RICK “Mona Lisa,” MELLE MEL & SCORPIO of THE FURIOUS FIVE “The Message,” SUGARHILL GANG “Rappers Delight,” NICE ‘N SMOOTH “Hip-Hop Junkies,” ROB BASE “It Takes Two,” BRAND NUBIAN “All for One,” BLACK SHEEP “The Choice is Yours,” ROXANNE SHANTE “Roxanne’s Revenge,” SWEET G “Games People Play,” GRANDMASTER CAZ “Fresh Fly Wild and Bold,” T-SKI VALLEY “Catch the Beat,” PLAYGIRL ARI “Why Did You Do Me Wrong.” Hosted by Video Music Box’s own RALPH MCDANIELS. Music by DJ HOLLYWOOD and GRAND WIZARD THEODORE.
This phenomenal event is dedicated to Ruben Diaz Jr. for his outstanding contributions to the Hip-Hop community in the Bronx and his support of the arts at Lehman Center. Ruben Díaz Jr. represented his hometown and the people of The Bronx for more than two decades. He graduated from Lehman College, City University of New York, with a BA in political theory. Elected at the age of 23, Díaz was the youngest person to serve in the legislative body since Theodore Roosevelt.
In 2009, Díaz campaigned successfully in a special election for the Office of Bronx Borough President. Serving over three terms in office, Díaz proved his knack for strong negotiation and a deep understanding of an increasingly complex regulatory environment in the City and State of New York and continues his support currently serving as Senior Vice President of Montefiore Medical Center.
The genre of HIP HOP started in the famous South Bronx dance club, Disco Fever, originally a local bar operated by Allie Abbatiello, a local owner of several Bronx nightclubs. Abbatiello’s son Sal Abbatiello worked as the bartender and the bar’s night manager, George “Sweet G” Godfrey introduced Sal to a new local, yet unnamed music form where DJs rapped over records at a local park performance of Grandmaster Flash. In 1977, Sal began booking Tuesday nights at the bar, with the first show featuring Grandmaster Flash and the 3 MCs.
It was an instant success and the club, now called Disco Fever was soon booking DJs and rappers exclusively. Named in 1983 the “Rap Capital of the Solar System” by People Magazine because of the many rap and hip hop stars and producers like Russell Simmons, Run-D.M.C., DJ Junebug, Sugarhill Gang, DJ Hollywood and Kurtis Blow that started their careers there, Disco Fever flourished until 1985 and was used as the location shoot for Krush Groove, a film based on the inception of Simmons’ Def Jam Records.
SLICK RICK, also known as Rick the Ruler and Ricky Dee is a critically acclaimed rapper who rose to fame during the 1980s, an era known to fans as the Golden age of hip hop. Born as Richard Walters, Slick Rick is famous for his use of narrative and has rightfully been dubbed “hip hop’s greatest storyteller”. As a child, he lost vision in one eye and started wearing an eye-patch, eventually becoming his trademark look. He had forayed into the world of hip hop as a teenager when he formed the Kangol Crew with Dana Dane and began performing in hip-hop battles around the city.
At one 1984 battle in the Bronx, Rick met Doug E. Fresh, and began playing with his Get Fresh Crew (which also included Chill Will and Barry Bee). His debut album, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick which spawned the tracks “Teenage Love” and “Children’s Story,” spent much of the summer of 1989 at number one on the Billboard hip-hop/R&B charts and climbed as high as number 31 on the top 200.
MELLE MEL & SCORPIO of THE FURIOUS FIVE both started their rap careers with Grandmaster Flash. Originally rapping along with DJ Grandmaster Flash were the 3 MCs (Masters of Ceremonies) MELLE MEL, Kidd Creole, and Cowboy. Cowboy is credited with originating the term “hip hop” which he used to describe the group’s technique of scat singing their rap in a hip hop cadence that mimicked the beat of soldiers marching.
These pioneers and other trailblazing list of entertainers will perform at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts located on the campus of CUNY Lehman College at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. Tickets for Hip Hop Fever on Saturday, April 30th, 2022 at 8:00pm ($65, $60, $55, $45) are on sale now online at https://www.lehmancenter.org/hip-hop-fever or over the phone during business hours (10am-5pm on weekdays) at (718) 960-8833.
The Concert Hall is accessible by transit on the 4 and D train to Bedford Park Blvd. and by car on the Saw Mill River Parkway and Major Deegan Expressway.