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Grand Rapids hip hop appreciation week begins with proclamation

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Panel at Wealthy Theater, May 15, 2017.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Hip hop appreciation week kicked off in Grand Rapids Monday with an official proclamation by Mayor Rosalynn Bliss.

In the proclamation, Bliss declared “accountability” to be theme of the week, saying that hip hop culture has become a key to “uplifting the spirit of many.”

Second Ward Commissioner Ruth Kelly with GR Hip Hop Coalition

Victor Williams is the president of the Grand Rapids Hip Hop Coalition. It’s been an annual event across the country since 2001, and happens every third week of May. The stated goals of the week are to reflect upon the cultural roots of hip hop and how it can be used to promote social change.

There was a round table discussion at the Wealthy Theater focusing on the history of hip hop in Grand Rapids. Other events this week include a film panel on the documentary “Time is Illmatic,” which focuses on the making of rapper Nas’ 1994 album Illmatic; a Black Tie, White Sneaker benefit gala at the B.O.B. Thursday evening; and a Unity Jam Saturday morning at MLK Jr Park.

The Hip Hop Coalition says money raised will support an inaugural Hip Hop Summer Camp this summer for Grand Rapids youth ages 8 to 18.


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