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Afrika Bambaataa performance, lecture postponed due to illness

Underwriting support from:


Poster for Bambaataa's lecture Lifequest Urban Outreach Center

Poster for Bambaataa's lecture Lifequest Urban Outreach Center /Grand Rapids Hip Hop Coalition

Two Grand Rapids appearences by legendary hip-hop progeniter Afrika Bambaataa have been postponed due to illness. In a statement made by the events' organizer, Grand Rapids Hip Hop Coalition (GRHHC), it was announced that Bambaataa is hospitalized but expected to make a full recovery. The lecture and performance, both planned for tomorrow evening, will be rescheduled when the New York City-based DJ has fully recovered and is able to perform again. This was to be Bambaataa's first appearance in West Michigan

The lecture, entitled Afrika Bambaataa Speaks, is described by GRHHC as a conversation targeting at-risk youth: "At a time when rap music has become associated with gang violence and drug use in the minds of its critics, Afrika Bambaataa's voice and history remind audiences that Hip-Hop culture started as an effort to pull vulnerable inner-city youths away from the dangers of gang membership."

Victor "Governor Slugwell" Williams, a principle organizer of GRHHC, feels that Bambaataa's appearance in Grand Rapids is important "because there is a lot of education that needs to take place here in West Michigan. There are a lot of misconceptions about what hip hop is all about and where it's coming from."

"It's also about educating the adults" he continued. "...They can use hip hop as a tool for helping youth overcome the negative circumstances they face on a daily basis."

The lecture, to be held at Lifequest Ministries' Urban Outreach Center (1050 Fisk SE), was free for attendees under the age of 18 and also a fundraiser for the I Am Hiphop Project, a program of William's The Love Movement, that aims to teach youth the importance of hip hop as a tool for overcoming various life challenges.

The lecture was to be followed by 21+ performance by Bambaataa and 4 other DJs at Tequila Nightclub (932 S. Division).

Tickets for both events will be accepted at the newly rescheduled events. Refunds are available at location of purchase.

Despite the illness, Williams indicated that a live interview with Afrika Bambaataa will still air on 104.5 WSNX tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 p.m. It is expected that more details about his condition will be revealed at that time.

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