Rakim, Nas and more – VIBE.com

Rakim, Nas and more – VIBE.com

Rakim and Scarface were honored on Friday (November 17) for their many contributions to hip-hop. The Paid In Full Foundation’s inaugural Hip-Hop Grandmaster Awards showed off the love of legends at the Keep Memory Alive Event Center in Las Vegas, designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. The atmosphere was great upon entering, even with the entrance dedicated to the birthplace of hip-hop in New York with a bodega-style store, the facade of the 1520 Sedgwick Avenue building in the Bronx and photo installations of Ra and Face. The dining area was luxurious with a pale purple color throughout. Among the celebrities who attended the event were television journalist Gayle King, actor Terry Crews, Rap-A-Lot Records founder J. Prince and others.

In the spirit of culture, media and art legend Fab 5 Freddie MC emceed the event accompanied by New York Times best-selling author and activist Shaka. Singur. Rap icons Nas and Ice Cube gave heartfelt and sometimes humorous speeches to honor both Rakim and Scarface with dual Hip-Hop Grandmaster Awards. The awards also came with rings to symbolize their high status. Scarface immediately placed the shiny piece of jewel on his left pinky as he opened the box on stage. “I’m at a loss for words… I’m really grateful that people have considered me receiving a very prestigious award as a Grand Master… Thank you very much, I really appreciate it,” Scarface said kindly.

The Hip-Hop Grandmaster Award includes a stipend for recipients. According to the official press release, “The award aims to enable artists to advance their creative and artistic endeavours.”

Speaking to Paid In Full’s mission statement, Ben Horowitz, co-founder of the organization, highlighted the urgent need to raise the profile of hip-hop greats: “The story of hip-hop is the story of young people who saw something they could do that would change the world, something they could create that would make everyone’s life different. It was a crazy idea, but they decided to do it at a great risk to themselves,” Horowitz said in his opening remarks. “.. “The people in the music industry didn’t want to play it on the radio, or contract with anyone. It was an ‘against all odds’ idea, but the most amazing thing is that they did it anyway. They created the most important musical art form in the 1950s.” Over the past few years with a whole culture behind it – the dancing, the fashion, everything.

Horowitz sponsored the event with Paid In Full’s board of directors, which includes Ben’s wife Felicia Horowitz, a business manager Steve Stoute, media mogul Michelle Ebanks, and film producer Quincy Jones III. The selection committee that helps select the recipients consists of an advisory board that includes Nas, Fab 5 Freddie, Video Music Box’s Ralph McDaniels, and celebrity manager Anthony Saleh.

Giving VIBE an exclusive statement, Horowitz continued to detail the importance of the foundation and explain what the selectees received: “We were honored to have Jacob the Jeweler provide stunning rings. The mission of Paid in Full is to financially enable great artists to continue to bless us with their art. As part of that, each recipient receives The Grandmaster Prize will receive a net amount of $100,000 per year after taxes for the next five years. In the future, the Foundation also aims to provide assistance to artists with severe medical conditions or other difficulties, but we have not developed that program yet. We will work with the Grandmaster Prize winners Rakim and Scarface to figure out the right size and shape for those trophies.

The night was pure bliss for any true hip-hop fanatic. The show consisted of multiple performances by talented groups and soloists, such as the raucous sounds of The Pack Drum Line, the powerful tap dance crew Syncopated Ladies, the exciting moves of the BBoyz dancers, as well as an opening set of the DJ’s superior mixing skills. PZB. Senghor had an intimate conversation with Steve Stoute, Scarface and Rakim, detailing their love for hip-hop, their inspirations and what tonight means to them. Earlier in the evening, Rakim told VIBE about the honor: “(I’m) really at a loss for words. There’s a lot of things going through your head, you know? The sacrifices and the decisions that I’ve made. I’ve always considered myself an underground artist, because “I didn’t have any big radio recordings. So, you get to the point where you realize you’re doing it for a cause… and you’re not doing it for the money. It’s a blessing, man, when things like this come along.”

The presence of great artists like D Smoke on the piano, rapper IDK (who performed while images of In Memoriam streamed on the screen behind him) and powerhouse singer Frenchie Davis who had the crowd on the verge of tears with her singing, all added glory to the night. Additional special moments were also included in the show. Senghor with QD3 and Ralph McDaniels showcases archival videos of hip-hop stars like LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, Rakim and Ye at such young ages that they wowed the audience. That moment gave justice to these artists who saw themselves and their purpose early in their lives and why hip-hop played such a pivotal role in their success.

After showing all the love and admiration, the one and only Doug E. Fresh got up from his seat at the front table, headed to the stage and began splitting it in half with his high energy set and a slew of classics like “The Show,” which had everyone from Nas to Flavor Flav dancing wildly. While at the table before his performance, Fresh summed up the evening and the purpose of the awards ceremony perfectly to VIBE with these words:

“It’s very special for us to come together for something so important. Speaking Stoute, speaking to Nas, Cube here… you have to, as they say, pay it forward and you also have to pay it backwards. That’s it.” It’s really that simple, and if you can, you should. Rakim? That’s my brother. We’ve been tight since day one. Same with Scarface, that’s my brother. I came out, nothing attached. Just to support what this is about.”

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *