In an incredible collaboration, Rock The Bells and Bowery Presents are teaming up with Impulse Nation, Kool Herc Productions, King Addies, and the Jamaica Music Conference to orchestrate the most memorable 50th Hip Hop celebration of the year.
Dubbed "FAAWUD," the exclusive event intends to unite the Jamaican Diaspora, the Caribbean community, and their Hip-Hop family, throwing a spotlight on what is often considered the most underrated aspect of early Hip-Hop culture. But FAAWUD isn't just a celebration of Hip Hop's 50th Anniversary, it also marks the 40th Anniversary of King Addies and the 10th Anniversary of the Jamaica Music Conference.
FAAWUD aims to fuse the Hip-Hop and Reggae Dancehall communities, exploring and showcasing the impact of Jamaican Sound System Culture on Hip-Hop.
To that end, FAAWUD is set to honor influential figures in Hip Hop and Reggae Dancehall, including the Father of Hip Hop, DJ Kool Herc (2023 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee), Hip-Hop's First Lady, Cindy Campbell, Hip-Hop’s first Emcee, Coke La Rock, Jamaica’s King of All Selectors, Danny Dread, and original foundation toaster, Big Youth.
Initiating with a sound system exhibit, the dynamic one-day program will host various Hip-Hop and Reggae Dancehall icons, leading an international audience of music enthusiasts on a cultural odyssey. The event will feature a historic panel discussion with Hip-Hop and Jamaican music icons and journalists, engaging in conversation together for the first time. Various elements of sound system and DJ culture will be highlighted, such as a physical sound systems clash, a turntablist exhibition, a sound clash exhibition featuring sound boys with their dubplates, and a riveting toasting cypher that brings together both Hip-Hop and Jamaican icons.
Set to take place on August 10, 2023, at New York City's iconic Webster Hall, the event will pave the way for the official 50th Anniversary of Cindy Campbell and DJ Kool Herc’s legendary Hip-Hop party that occurred at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue on August 11, 1973. Tickets are available now at RockTheBells.com.
Rock The Bells caught up with the Father of Hip-Hop DJ Kool Herc and the First Lady of Hip-Hop, Cindy Campbell, to get their breakdown on why FAAWUD is so important.
How does it feel to be involved as a production collaborator for FAAWUD, an event that celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop and pays homage to the integral influence of Jamaican Sound System Culture?
DJ KOOL HERC: This event means much more than a collaboration. It feels like we are embarking on a historic movement for Jamaica, USA and the world. The intent of this collaboration clearly shows the Jamaican sound system culture influence. Hip-Hop’s 50th and FAAWUD gives me a sense of pride, and love, to be a part of a strong cultural celebration that is here to stay and keep evolving.
How important is it to you that FAAWUD not only celebrates Hip Hop's 50th Anniversary but also recognizes the influence of Jamaican Sound System Culture? What do you hope attendees will take away from this unique cultural celebration?
DJ KOOL HERC: We have reached a big milestone celebrating the 50th Anniversary of hip hop culture. This event will reach a range of age groups, from the youths to the grand-youths—it covers everyone. As Jamaican’s say, “Out of One, Many People.”
As a key figure in the early days of Hip Hop and one of the collaborators for FAAWUD, how significant is it for you to see the shared legacy of Hip Hop and Jamaican music celebrated in such a unique and intentional way?
Cindy Campbell: I think it’s very significant towards the legacy of hip hop and will hopefully show the connection to Jamaican music in a very unique and international way.
What impact do you think this shared celebration will have on the cultural appreciation and understanding of the interconnectedness between these two musical genres?
Cindy Campbell: In my opinion, the impact will be a positive one. We must not forget where we came from and also must understand the interconnectedness and shared legacy between the two music genres.