LEHMAN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS presents
Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Legendary Bronx Nightclub Disco Fever
HIP HOP FEVER
Performing LIVE ON STAGE: Rakim, The Sugarhill Gang, Rob Base,
Grandmaster Melle Mel, Sweet G, Grand Puba of Brand Nubian, Black Rob,
Mr. Cheeks of Lost Boyz, Keith Murray, Black Sheep, Peter Gunz, Roxanne Shante,
Cash Crew, Fonda Rae, Grandmaster Caz, Spoonie G
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in association with Sal Abbatiello of Fever Records celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the Legendary Bronx nightclub Disco Fever with a night of HIP HOP CONCERT on Saturday, May 6th, 2017 at 8pm. In the early 1970’s the Hip Hop musical genre was born in the neighborhoods of the South Bronx. The HIP HOP FEVER concert will feature performances by RAKIM “It’s Been A Long Time,” GRANDMASTER MELLE MEL “The Message,” ROB BASE “It Takes Two,” SUGARHILL GANG “Rappers Delight,” SWEET G “Games People Play,” GRAND PUBA of Brand Nubian “360 What Goes Around,” BLACK ROB “Whoa,” MR. CHEEKS of Lost Boyz “Renee,” KEITH MURRAY “Most Beautiful Thing In The World,” BLACK SHEEP “The Choice Is Yours,” PETER GUNZ “Déjà Vu (Uptown Baby),” ROXANNE SHANTE “Roxanne’s Revenge,” CRASH CREW “On The Radio,” FONDA RAE “Over Like A Fat Rat,” GRANDMASTER CAZ “Cold Crush Brothers,” and SPOONIE G “Love Rap”. Hosted by SAL ABBATIELLO. Music by DJ MARLEY MARL and GRANDWIZARD THEODORE. Produced by Lehman Center and Sal Abbatiello.
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College/CUNY at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. Tickets for HIP HOP FEVER on Saturday, May 6th, 2017 at 8pm are $60, $55, $45 and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 (Monday through Friday, 10am–5pm, and beginning at 12 noon on the day of the concert), or through online access at www.LehmanCenter.org. Lehman Center is accessible by #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd. and is off the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway. Low-cost on-site parking available for $5.
DISCO FEVER, the famous South Bronx Hip Hop dance club, started out in 1976 as a local bar operated by Allie Abbatiello, a local owner of several Bronx nightclubs. Abbatiello’s son Sal worked as the bartender and the bar’s night manager, George “Sweet G” Godfrey introduced Sal to a new local, yet unnamed music form where DJs rapped over records at a local park performance of Grandmaster Flash. In 1977, Sal started booking Tuesday nights at the bar, with the first show featuring Grandmaster Flash and the 3 MCs. It was an instant success and the club, now called Disco Fever was soon booking DJs and rappers exclusively. Named in 1983 the “Rap Capital of the Solar System” by People Magazine because of the many Rap and Hip Hop stars and producers like Russell Simmons, Run-D.M.C., DJ Junebug, Sugarhill Gang, DJ Hollywood and Kurtis Blow that started their careers there. Disco Fever flourished until 1985 when it was used as the location shoot for Krush Groove, a film based on the inception of Simmons’ Def Jam Records. During the process of obtaining the proper film permits, the city realized that the club was operating without the required cabaret license and shut it down.
RAKIM is a New York Rap artist that is widely regarded as one of the most influential and skilled MC’s of all time. Rakim began his career as the emcee of the HIP Hop duo Eric B & Rakim. Their first single, “Eric B. is President” (1986) was recorded at DJ Marley Marl’s home studio and resulted in a contract with Island Records. The duo released their first of four studio albums, Paid in Full, in 1987, which featured sampling of James Brown tracks and contained the singles “Eric B. is President,” “I Ain’t No Joke,” “I Know You Got Soul,” and “Paid in Full.” This album also introduced Rakim’s new novel sound, previously unknown to Hip Hop, called internal rhyming, where rhymes could be found throughout the bar of a lyric, which added to the rhythmic complexity of the song. He also introduced a lyrical technique known as cliffhanging and popularized the use of metaphors with multiple meanings. Their second release Follow the Leader reached #22 on the Billboard Pop Albums Chart, went Gold and featured hot tracks “Microphone Fiend,” “Lyrics of Fury,” and “No Competition.” Their next two albums Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em (1990) and Don’t Sweat the Technique (1992) were also widely acclaimed. Going solo, Rakim released The 18th Letter in 1996, which debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200 and went gold. His latest album The Seventh Seal was released in 2009. In 2006, Paid in Full was named as the greatest Hip Hopalbum of all time by MTV and in 2012 The Source ranked Rakim #1 on their list of Top 50 Lyricists of All Time.
THE SUGARHILL GANG inaugurated the history of recorded Hip Hop with the single “Rapper’s Delight,” a Multi-Platinum-seller and radio hit recorded in 1979 by NY rappers Master Gee, Wonder Mike and Big Bank Hank which sold more than eight million copies. In 1981 the group performed on the TV show Soul Train the hit title track of their second album 8th Wonder which also contained the hit singles “Apache and “Living in the Fast Lane.” The group made a comeback in 1999 with Jump on It, a rap album for children. For more than 20 years, the Sugarhill Gang has been composed of Wonder Mike, Master Gee and HenDogg and has featured DJ T Dynasty. In 2009, with international DJ phenom Bob Sinclair, they released “LaLa Song”, which quickly became a hit first overseas, and then in the US. In 2014 “Rapper’s Delight” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and the following year Rolling Stone Magazine listed it as the #2 Greatest Rap Song of All Time.
ROB BASE is a Hip Hop rapper from Harlem, New York City. His 1988 multi-platinum breakout single “It Takes Two” was recorded with DJ E-Z Rock and uses multiple samples from the James Brown/Lyn Collins song “Think (About It).” As a duo, their second hit song “Joy and Pain” also proved to be a smash the following year. Going solo in 1989, Base released “Turn It Out (Go Base)” which went Gold on the hit dance charts. In 2008, “It Takes Two” was ranked number 37 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.
GRANDMASTER MELLE MEL started his rap career with Grandmaster Flash. Originally rapping along with DJ Grandmaster Flash were the 3 MCs (Masters of Ceremonies) MELLE MEL, Kidd Creole and Cowboy. Cowboy is credited with originating the term “HipHop” which he used to describe the group’s technique of scat singing their rap in a hip hop cadence that mimicked the beat of soldiers marching. When Scorpio and Rahiem were added, the group changed their name to the FURIOUS 5. With the release of their hits “Supperrappin’” (1979),”Freedom” (which went gold) and “Birthday Party” (both 1980) the group became the #1 Rap group in NYC. 1982’s hit “The Message” went Platinum in under a month and became the first Hip Hop record added to the US Archive of Historical Recordings and the first Hip Hop record to be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Because of a dispute over the royalties for that song, Grandmaster Flash left the group and they renamed themselves Grandmaster Melle Mel and the Furious Five and released the hit anti-drug song “White Lines” (1983). 1984’s “I Feel For You”, Chaka Khan’s smash hit, featured a memorable rap by Mel, which introduced Hip Hop to a wider and more mainstream R&B audience. With the Furious Five, he had several more hits including “Step Off” (1984) and 1985’s “Pump Me Up” and “Vice” which was featured on the TV show Miami Vice. In 2007, they became the first Rap/Hip Hop group inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In May, 2016, Mel (along with Scorpio) released his latest single “Some Kind of Sorry”.
DJ MARLEY MARL (Marlon Williams) was born in Queens, NY, grew up in the Queensbridge projects and started his career as DJ Mr. Magic’s sidekick on Rapp Attack, the first Hip Hop show on a major radio station, NYC’s WBLS-FM. As part of the Queensbridge Juice Crew, Marl became one of Hip Hop’s first superproducers and was an early innovator in techniques of sampling, resulting in a trademark raw sound that included some of Rap’s sharpest beats. A Hip Hop legend, he has produced and written with groups like Big Daddy Kane, LL Cool J, Biz Markie, Eric B & Rakim, Roxanne Shante and MC Shan. He has an extensive discography that includes “Around the Way Girl,” Eric B For President,” “Nobody Beats the Biz” and “The Symphony.” In 1992, he won the Grammy for LL Cool J’s Best Solo Rap Performance and in 2013 he received the Global Spin Award for Legendary DJ.
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council. The 2016-2017 Season is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional funding is provided by Con Edison, the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund, the Rudin Foundation, the Hyde and Watson Foundation, and the friends of Lehman Center.