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Queens Chronicle

May is hip-hop month at the Queens Library

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Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014 10:30 am

Queens and hip-hop music are intrinsically linked, with many of the pioneering artists, entrepreneurs and personalities coming from and living in the borough.

Now the Queens Library decided to devote the entire month of May to “31 Days of Hip-Hop,” a celebration of both the music and the people from Queens who are synonymous with the art and its culture.

“We’ve been kicking this around for a few years,” library spokeswoman Joanne King said last week. “The Borough of Queens has a long history with hip-hop. Many of the seminal artists started in Queens neighborhoods when it was developing as a art form.”

Each day in May will feature an event on the music, business, history or personalities, with most events taking place at either the Teen Center at the Central Library at 89-11 Merrick Blvd. in Jamaica; the Langston Hughes Library at 100-01 Northern Blvd. in Corona; the Queens Library for Teens at 2002 Cornaga Ave. in Far Rockaway; or the St. Albans Library at 191-05 Linden Blvd.

All events are free of charge and open to the public.

“This Week in Hip-Hop,” with a different offering each Sunday of the month, is not a live event but a series of online postings examining hip-hop history.

King also said the library hopes to use the celebration and events to help establish a hip-hop archive that will benefit borough residents, music fans, students and researchers down the road.

“If we don’t get it now, we can’t go back 80 years from now and say ‘we wish we did,’” King said.

The opening event, at 4 p.m. on May 1 in Jamaica, is scheduled to feature Kool Herc and DJ Marley Marl discussing the music’s origins and history.

The month will close out with hip-hop legend Ralph McDaniels, who founded the long-running Public Television show “Video Music Box” back in 1983, offering a talk, “Intro to the Entertainment Industry,” from 4 to 5 p.m. on May 30 at the Teen Library in Far Rockaway; and from 2 to 4 p.m. on May 31 at the Langston Hughes in Corona.

In between, offerings will include Family Day jams with Zulu Nation at 2 p.m. on May 3 at Langston Hughes, as well as on May 17 at 2 p.m. at the Arverne Library at 312 Beach 54 St. in Far Rockaway.

May 5 will feature “Who’s the Best MC?” The presentation at Langston Hughes is scheduled to include actor Marc John Jefferies and DJ G Money from 4 to 6 p.m.

Fashion executive Keith Perrin, one of the founders of the FUBU clothing line, will speak on teen fashion entrepreneurs from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Teen Library in Far Rockaway on May 6 and 7.

Steph Lova and DJ GMoney will host a battle of the DJs at the Teen Library from 4 to 6 p.m. on May 9.

Other related art forms get their days on May 15 with live poetry and a poetry and art showcase on May 29.

Both presentations are scheduled for the Teen Center in Jamaica, and will run from 4 to 6 p.m.

Langston Hughes will host a breakdancing workshop on Friday, May 16, followed on Monday, May 19 by a performance. Both events are scheduled to run from 4 to 6 p.m.

The Teen Library in Far Rockaway also will host talks titled “Create Your Own Record Label” on May 20 through May 23, running each day from 4 to 6 p.m.

King said that many of the events will be video-recorded and then posted on YouTube and other social media outlets afterward.

Details on the month-long celebration and individual events may be found online at queenslibrary.org.

31 Days of Hip-Hop
When: The month of May
Where: Various Queens Library, locations; all events free

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