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Old School Party

Originally Posted: August 22, 2007

Kristin Parker

Who is your favorite old school hip hop artist? If it is Jeru the Damaja then you missed out on his live performance at the 2nd Annual Hamptons Hip Hop Festival held at Turtle Bay in Quogue over the weekend. Didn't make it to the Hip Hop festival? Then maybe you had a good view of Star Jones as she partied at Stereo by the Shore in Southampton. It is also quite possible that you took a Ferry over to Shelter Island to relax on a beautiful Saturday afternoon on Sunset Beach while sipping Mojitos.

DJ Jazzy Jay, DJ Pookie, and DJ Rob Swift at the 2nd Annual
Hamptons Hip Hop Festival at Turtle Bay.

Yo! MTV Raps was one of my favorite shows growing up. I used to love singing the theme song and watching Fab 5 Freddy or Doctor Dré and Ed Lover as they introduced new videos and talked about the different trends in Hip Hop. The program aired from 1988 to 1995 and was my favorite period of the genre. The artists were fun and their music told stories of their own life struggles.

Public Enemy's videos stood out the most. A preteen at the time, I didn't quite understand the political and social impact that the group had on its audience but I could discern that the issues were quite serious. There were also artists that talked about life but seemed to pun at the different experiences we all have in common. DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince's hit, "Parents Just Don't Understand" is still one of my favorite videos and songs simply because I could relate to the story. We even got a great family show based on its premise, "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air"!

The purpose of the annual Hamptons Hip Hop Festival is to remind people that Hip Hop is an art form that can bring people together and help inform each other about social, economic and political issues. One if its founders, Mike Popalardo, wants to bring recognition to this genre of music to the Hamptons. New York City is filled with numerous clubs and lounges where artists from every walk of life come together to enjoy old school hip hop.

Brooke Colmer and Laura Kenny at the 2nd Annual Hamptons
Hip Hop Festival at Turtle Bay.

Owner of Triple Crown, a funky hip hop spot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Popalardo feels that music can break down barriers and create an environment where people can not only have fun but celebrate music that empowers and inspires. I've hung out at this club that pays homage to old school hip hop and have found the crowd quite diverse, open and trendy. It almost reminds me of a club called 737 Altitude I checked out while on one of my exploration missions in Montreal, Canada. This club was on the top of a skyscraper with an outdoor patio giving a great view of the city skyline. There were people there from every background imaginable yet everyone knew the words to Notorious B.I.G.'s "Once More Chance".

The turn out at the festival was great. With close to 500 people packing Turtle Bay, it was the club's biggest party of the summer. Jeru the Damaja, the main attraction at this year's event, has been on the scene since 1992 and has collaborated with artists such as Gang Starr and Digable Planets. He has a new album "Still Risin" coming out this September which is sure to set fire to the radio waves.

Star Jones and Mike Satsky at Stereo by Shore. Photo by Rob
Rich www.hamptonscene.com

Many Hip Hop lovers stopped by the festival to mix and mingle with the break dancing crowd. Chris Colmer of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Scott Kooistra of the Cincinnati Bengals stopped by to see Jeru the Damaja, DJ Pookie, and Big Bone freestyle on the mic. Last year Nice 'N Smooth and Fab 5 Freddy made star appearances. This event is sure to grow. I can't wait for next year's festival!

In other news around the Hamptons, Star Jones Reynolds hung out at Stereo by the Shore after a fun filled day with Donald Trump and his lovely wife Melania at Mercedes-Benz Polo challenge.

Next weekend Diana Ross will be in town for An Evening Under the Stars where she will give a private performance at Stony Brook Southampton. This event, hosted by Jill and Cliff Viner, will benefit the Kids PumpEd Project at the Diabetes Research Institute.

The Southampton Historical Museum will be holding a Late Summer Cocktail Party this Saturday starting at 5:30 p.m. and the event is $35 for member and $50 for non members. The party will benefit the museum's school programs ad will feature dancing on the grass, a live jazz band, open bar and food!

The summer may be winding down but I have some good news. Life @ Nite is year round!

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