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Hip Hop Appreciation Week: Diverse festival focuses on edutainment and how it enriches community


With a theme of Edutainment, this year’s Hip Hop Appreciation Week (HHAW) is really busting out an amazing lineup of events from panel discussions to insightful lectures to even a fundraiser, creating a lot of buzz in our city as a result of their contributions. 

Edutainment, as defined by the HHAW, seeks to use education through entertainment starting on May 13. 

According to HHAW, “Since the beginning of Hip Hop Kulture, Hiphoppas have used edutainment as a strategy to express ourselves [and] the elements and teach people about Hip Hop Kulture. The term was popularized by Hip Hop pioneer and legend KRS-ONE, the Teacha, in the late 80’s.”

This year’s HHAW seeks to acknowledge the original intent of Hip Hop of embracing peace, unity, love and safety, all the while have a great time. Think of this as a family and you are more than halfway there in your mind. 

The big event of the week is The Black Tie White Sneaker Benefit Gala at Eve Nightclub on the 4th floor of the B.O.B. in Downtown Grand Rapids. 

This ticketed event will feature the music of DJ Rush The Guillotine and a festive and fine Classic Hip Hop Karaoke! 

The gala has special VIP packages still available to purchase at press time with funds being raised via local nonprofit The Love Movement Inc. to benefit the Grand Rapids Hip Hop Summer Camp. 

Other highlights of our local HHAW happenings this week include Who Shot Ya Lecture with Hip Hop Photographer Ernie Paniccioli, a ladies symposium featuring the film and a panel discussion of Netflix’s “Roxanne, Roxanne,” and The Impact of Hip Hop Entrepreneurship held at Start Garden. 

For a complete look at all the activities including a MLK Park public celebration, please visit the HHAW website.
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