Big Daddy Kane, Doug E. Fresh, Rakim and Slick Rick are among the 25 New York hip-hop icons that will be gracing the Radio City Music Hall stage when DJ Cassidy brings his “Pass The Mic Live!” concert franchise to the Big Apple venue.
In celebration of the genre’s 50th anniversary, the July 21 one-night-only event — in partnership with the Black Promoters Collective (BPC) and presented by Martell Cognac — will also feature rap pioneers such as Roxanne Shante, The Sugarhill Gang, Monie Love, Kurtis Blow and Kid ‘N Play along with surprise guests.
“As a 10-year-old DJ, I grew up idolizing every single one of these legendary hip-hop heavyweights,” DJ Cassidy tells Billboard. “Their records were my first pieces of vinyl. Their posters were on my wall. Their tapes were in my Walkman. Together, they laid the foundation for what was to transform the world musically, culturally and beyond. I am truly grateful to be celebrating them and their profound impact on the culture, just days from the 50th birthday of hip-hop [Aug. 11] and minutes away from where Kool Herc DJ’d the first hip-hop party in 1973. Uniting 25 native New York icons of hip-hop’s golden age on one stage for one night in the birthplace of hip-hop, also my hometown, will be the greatest honor of my life.”
“Pass The Mic Live!” at Radio City Music Hall will be the second in Cassidy’s series of live one-night-only events taking place this year — featuring their own unique star lineups — in partnership with the BPC.
The concert series’ earlier announced inaugural show is set for May 12 at the Prudential Center arena in Newark, New Jersey with Ashanti, Fabolous, Ja Rule, Lil Kim, Ma$e, Ne-Yo, Robin Thicke, 112 and surprise guests.
The live concert franchise is the latest evolution of DJ Cassidy’s “Pass The Mic: Volume One” digital series, which premiered during the height of the pandemic on July 7, 2020. “I could have never imagined my little living room series transforming into a series of primetime television specials [BET], let alone a series of live one-night-only concerts,” says Cassidy.
“When Cassidy called me about his ‘Pass The Mic’ project in the middle of lockdown, I immediately saw it as a way to reach out to my peers and my fans … to bring some light to dark times,” says Rakim, among the hip-hop icons who will be performing at Radio City Music Hall. “From that first stream, I’ve watched it evolve into a whole celebration of hip-hop; curated in a way I think only Cass could pull off. But it’s also a celebration of all musical genres and all musical ages. Being a part of bringing it to its physical form is going to make for an incredible night.”
Adds fellow performer Doug E. Fresh, “I’m honored to be a part of the ‘Pass The Mic’ legacy. In rough times, you see who people are. And Cassidy demonstrated the kind of man he is by showing love to so many of the people he calls his musical heroes. A lot of them don’t often receive the love they deserve. They say love is in the details, and Cassidy always shows love with his carefully curated compilations. If you enjoyed the virtual versions of ‘Pass The Mic,’ wait until you see the Radio City show. It will definitely be one to remember.”
Tickets for “DJ Cassidy’s Pass the Mic Live!” at Radio City Music Hall go on presale to American Express card members from April 11 (10am ET) through April 13 (11:59pm ET). Tickets go on sale to the general public starting April 14 (10am ET) via Ticketmaster.