By Rhea Riley
Alderman Khalif Rainey joins host Faithe Colas to talk about Milwaukee’s first Hip-Hop Week on There’s Always Something Good To Talk About.
“There is so much more we can do, we can each do every day, to continue to make Milwaukee a good place to live, work and play,” said Colas.
The show began with Colas recognizing the late death of legendary artist Aretha Franklin and playing her popular hit “Respect.” Colas addressed how the iconic song can also encourage the message of respect for the community and civil rights, such as the right to vote. This was followed with an excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1967 speech “What is your Blueprint.”
“It is a lot of lack of respect that we are seeing in life in our community,” said Colas. “Believe it or not you can help make a difference.”
Colas also addressed the open letter published in the Milwaukee Courier by 15th district Alderman Russell W. Stamper II’s.
“No politician, no matter how amazingly gifted he or she may be at connecting with the people, representing their interests, acknowledging their concerns and authoring legislation, etc., can make a community fulfill its real potential. That can only be done by the community,” wrote Stamper.
“Yes, it’s our vote that counts, but as Alderman Stamper so passionately writes, the work to have a better city and a way of life only happens by the work we are all willing to do every day of our lives,” said Colas.
Amongst these three excerpts Colas correlated the impact each has on the community and how they create a parallel to the events during Milwaukee’s Hip-Hop Week. Rainey who has been advocating for the event proves that it will offer more than just Hip-Hop.
“Beyond celebrating the four elements of Hip-Hop: DJ-ing B-boying, MC-ing and graffiti art, we most importantly want to take the platform of Hip-Hop and connect with people,” said Rainey. “Meet people where they are at and have conversation that improve the quality of life.”
The week-long event included both a finance and health forum for participants. On August 21, a financial intelligence discussion was led by entrepreneur and real estate mogul Jay Morrison at Wisconsin Black Historical Society. Wednesday, there was a Hip-Hop and health discussion at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
A community city wide clean-up led by Stamper was also scheduled to take place during the week.
Many of the community events such as the finance and health forums are held in local locations to prevent absence due to travel.
“We want to make sure you can get up off your porch and come walk around the corner and come kick it with us for Hip-Hop Week,” said Rainey.
Amongst the community outreach, Rainey has gathered a collection of major Hip-Hop icons and musicians to participate.
Big names such as, DJ DOC B, DJ Kool Herc, Ghostface Killlah from the Wu-tang Klan, and a string of local artists like, Munch Lauren, Ray Nitti and made appearances at the Miller High Life Theater and The Rave/Eagles Club throughout the week.
“Music is a common denominator, it is a connector for people of all classes,” said Colas.
Hip-Hop week began Aug. 20 and will end with Hip-Hop on the Block: Milwaukee Bucks & Hip-Hop Week MKE—an event to celebrate to grand opening of the new stadium. The event will take place on August 26 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on 1111 Vel R. Phillips Avenue.