24-Hour Rap Marathon Organizers Look to Raise Funds, Set World Record
This Saturday (May 12) in Harlem over 100 rappers and poets will attempt to flow non-stop for a full 24-hour period. Conceived by Curtis Sherrod of the Global Artists Coalition, the event will serve to raise funds for Harlem’s Hip-Hop Culture Center, New York’s first permanent hip-hop exhibit and community center. According to the Associated Press, organizers are looking to raise $250,000, which would allow the Center to remain open on a daily basis. Currently, visitors must make an appointment before they stop by. The marathon is also an attempt at setting a world record for continuous rapping. Kool Herc, the original hip-hop DJ and the man widely credited with creating the art form, will kick off the session on Saturday night. Rappers will be paired up with partners and will be given 2-minute increments to rap. Should any one person mess up, their partner is expected to pick up where they left off. The show’s host and the crowd are also encouraged to jump in at any point. In light of recent controversy over negative messages and obscene and misogynistic lyrics, participants will be barred from using profanity in their rhymes. “There’s a feeling of fellowship and communal family spirit that’s generated when people are talking about positive things, about peace, about creativity,” said Sherrod. “It affects your mentality. Just in the same way if you heard [lyrics about] bang-bang shoot-shoot, for a couple of hours, you’d leave feeling a certain way. [The positive messages] have to affect you.” Tickets cost $100 and more information can be found on the GAC website, www.gacny.com or by calling 212 234-7171.