Two days after the U.S. government sold the sole copy of their album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for rumored millions, Wu-Tang Clan members Ghostface Killah and Raekwon were announced as headliners of a free hip-hop concert in New York City, alongside a slew of other local hip-hop legends.
Organized by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Universal Hip Hop Museum executive director and president Rocky Bucano, “It’s Time for Hip Hop in NYC” will include four concerts taking place at outdoor venues in The Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens, from Aug. 16-20.
“As we celebrate this Summer of New York City, we’re proud to partner with Rocky Bucano and the Universal Hip Hop Museum to bring these momentous concerts to our boroughs, free of charge,” says de Blasio. Concertgoers must show proof of their first dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine as part of New York City’s ongoing effort to raise the rate of vaccinations among young people in the city. Officials hope the presence of the shows and influx of fans will also drive support for local small businesses, many of which suffered great losses during the 2020 lockdowns.
Other headliners across the four concerts include KRS One, Slick Rick, Remy Ma, Desiigner and George Clinton, in addition to a plethora of other genre pioneers, who will perform throughout the day.
“Many of the artists performing in these shows are native New Yorkers hailing from the five boroughs. It’s their talent, creativity, and passion for the culture that spread it from the stoops, parks, and playgrounds to stages worldwide,” says Bucano. “The Universal Hip Hop Museum is proud to welcome them home, back to where it all began.”
The weeklong festivities will come to a close with a massive show on Central Park’s great lawn, featuring performances from Carlos Santana, Polo G, Wyclef Jean and more. Tickets will be available to hopeful concertgoers in batches, beginning Aug. 2 at 10 a.m. ET. The shows will stream exclusively on the Twitch channel Behind the Rhyme.