‘Elements of Hip Hop’ brings local rappers, dancers, spoken word artists and B-boy and B-girl culture — to entertain audiences this Saturday at the Urban Drinkery, located at 2184 9th Ave. S. Pictured above is KRK, right to left, Shadcore, Theo Lane and OG the Originaal.
BY J.A. JONES, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG – Black & Brown Productions (BBP) has been elevating the focus on the roots of hip-hop in St. Pete through its “Elements of Hip Hop” events. Since last year, the events have brought local talent — rappers, dancers, spoken word artists and B–boy and B–girl culture — to entertain audiences at the swanky and sophisticated Urban Drinkery, located at 2184 9th Ave. S.
This Saturday, Feb. 25, their third installment celebrates an important milestone for the culture.
“It’s the 50th anniversary of hip hop, and our third installment of Elements of Hip Hop is in honor of the founders, pioneers, and legends in the history of hip hop,” said BBP co-founder Mike Milner.
Milner formed the entity along with Dave Ranger, aka DJ Supa Dave, to bring respect and awareness of the vibrancy, meaning and self-empowering messages in the earliest phase of hip hop.
“Our goal from the onset of the Elements of Hip Hop was to include all five elements: DJ, Emcee, the B-boy and B-girl, break dancers and graffiti,” shared Milner. “Each show we have been able to build to include more elements, and now we will have all five elements of hip hop live and in effect at our upcoming show.”
He noted that BBP was intent on “preserving our art and culture.”
Ranger is a founding member of the 4-Horseman DJs, with popular radio shows on Power Plug Radio and WUJM 99 JAMZ. “My background goes back to the early 1980s as a DJ, remembering the park jams, music, dancing, love, and unity,” he said, noting that the event is family-friendly.
He said they will make it feel like an old-school hip-hop block party with performers, art, dancers, and poetry throughout the day. People are encouraged to join in and dance. This great all-day show will start at 1 p.m.
Guests include dancer and choreographer A. Briscoe, who is also an entrepreneur, model, and hosts many community events, and author, motivational speaker and poet Miesha Brundridge, who is well-known on the St. Pete performance circuit and hosts several poetry nights in town.
The show’s linguistic masters include Hyfa tha Prospect, who has performed in each installment and said Ranger brings “strong stage presence and lyrical power.”
Also on the bill is hip hop trio KRK (Kings Recognize Kings), consisting of members Anthony Hall (The Originaal), Rashad Harrel and Theo Lane. The group mixes rap and southern soul to form a dynamic sound and will be debuting their song “White Walls.”
When older hip hop fans think back to the early commercial hits of the genre, it’s easy to recall how even when the topics were serious – think of Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five’s classic 1982 hit “The Message” or Public Enemy’s 1989 smash “Fight the Power” – it felt like there was a purpose and message of awareness and the need for change to improve the plight of Black communities.
Milner and Ranger are committed to revitalizing the impulse that galvanized the world through its positive thought.
“Hip hop appears to have lost its focus on lyrical content,” added Milner. “Most of the stuff I hear now is focused on trap beats, and the audience doesn’t really focus attention on lyrical meaning or critical thinking. Our hip hop used to force us to become critical thinkers and build our knowledge base.”
Don’t miss installment three of Elements of Hip Hop on Saturday, Feb. 25, starting at 1 p.m., at Urban Drinkery, 2184 9th Ave. S, St. Pete. For more info, visit Elements of Hip Hop on Facebook.