By Kiko Miyasato
Taking it back to the block party sounds of Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx, the East Coast Flava Tour stops in Las Vegas this week. Arguably the birthplace of hip hop, Sedgwick Avenue is where many of this tour’s rappers first got on the mic.
In the late ’70s, it was at block parties that The Sugar Hill Gang, the Furious 5 with Grandmaster Melle Mel & Scorpio and Kurtis Blow, all playing Saturday, spread the new sounds of hip-hop, as radio had yet to catch on to the new music. Groundbreaking rappers like Salt-N-Pepa, Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick (on the lineup, too) helped synthesize hip-hop into the pop music landscape and opened doors for hip-hop’s breakout decade, the ’90s, which included acts like DJ Kool and Black Sheep (also on the bill).
The East Coast Flava Tour will have longtime fans of hip-hop culture waving their hands in the air, waving them like they just don’t care. For the newest hip-hoppers, it’s a chance to be schooled—old-schooled.