Thanks to Dave Mays (founder of The Source Magazine), Jeremy Beaver (owner of Listen Vision Studios/founder of Hip-Hop Museum), and Culture House (formerly Blind Whino), DC has yet another museum to add to its proverbial list.
The official Hip-Hop Museum Launch Party kicked-off Friday to a packed-house of devoted hip-hop fans. Culture House in DC is hosting the world’s largest collection of hip-hop memorabilia. After the gallery launch party and sold out one-night concert, The Hip-Hop Museum Pop-Up Experience will be open to the public daily from 12-6pm until Feb. 18.
The long overdue gallery show launched in time to honor the 40th anniversary of the hip-hop classic “Rapper’s Delight.” Considered to be the first commercially-successful “rap” song, “Rapper’s Delight” entered the US Hot 100 in November 1979; cracking the Top 40 in January 1980 (when I was 2 yrs old…hahahahaha!).
Friday night’s celebration began with presenters inducting some of hip-hop’s most legendary and pioneering artists such as Busy Bee, The Sugarhill Gang, Grandmaster Caz, Melle Mel, and DC’s legendary go-go band Trouble Funk among others.
Following the inductions, the crowd enjoyed live sets by Grandmaster Caz and Melle Mel, The Sugarhill Gang, and Trouble Funk.
Watch the official music video for “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill gang on YouTube:
Grandmaster Caz and Melle Mel collaborated forces to perform intense versions of the hip-hop classics “The Message” and “White Lines.” Of course, The Sugarhill Gang performed “Rapper’s Delight” to the delight of the adoring sold-out crowd; however, Tony “Big Tony” Fisher and Trouble Funk were the headlining act and funked up the crowd with their DC Go-Go rhythms.
Trouble Funk is still touring and sounding great after 40 years in the music industry. By the look and sound of the band Friday night, they were completely in their element and embraced their moment of recognition. Trouble Funk’s Go-Go classic “Pump Me Up” remains one of the most sampled tracks in hip-hop of all time.
The crowd cheered and danced relentlessly to Trouble Funk’s raw pioneering style and infectious songs. There was not one unhappy face in the crowd. The entire show from start to finish was excellent and the fans showed their appreciation and love.
Leaving the show I was left with the words of Melle Mel echoing through my mind; “Hip-Hop is about peace, love, unity, and having fun.” Well said, sir. I think you won us all over!
Trouble Funk is scheduled to play with fellow DC Go-Go band Rare Essence at The Fillmore in Silver Spring on Feb. 17. Buy your tickets online.
Here are some pictures of the opening night of the Hip-Hop Museum at Blind Whino. All photos copyright and courtesy of Andy Jillson.
Here are some more pictures of honorees Trouble Funk performing at the opening of the Hip-Hop Museum on Friday.