Harlem of the North?

“As hip-hop marks its 50th anniversary worldwide this month, a dedicated Montreal group known as “Harlem of the North” is determined to shine a spotlight on the city’s hip-hop scene.”


“Black history is very rich in Montreal and the hip-hop experience directly came out of that community,” said Alsalman.

He says what makes Montreal’s hip-hop scene unique from the rest— is its bilingualism.

“There’s really two stories happening at the same time which is the French scene and the English scene and at times you see that cross paths through specific artists or producers…there is a natural crossroads on a creative level but on an industry level, rarely do they present us together.”

Block Party


Hip Hop turns 50, today.

August 11, 1973 is the birthdate of hip-hop. It was the date DJ Kool Herc – Clive Campbell – deejayed a “Back to School Jam” in the recreation room of 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx, introducing a culture that was coming together in Black and Latino neighborhoods throughout New York City.

The lesser-known part of the story is that the mastermind behind this jam was Herc’s younger sister, Cindy, who wanted to raise money for her back-to-school wardrobe. She didn’t have access to vast resources and spaces across the city, so she rented out the rec room, set the admission price, created the flyers by hand on index cards, coordinated food and beverages, and spread the word throughout the neighborhood. That jam became a legendary moment for hip-hop, sparking many more “park jams” that developed the culture into the dominating global influence it is today.

And The Savoy

Circa 1950. A Schomburg Library and Research Center image.

Harlem > Chelsea

Forbes.com reported that Harlem Hops (the Black-owned and operated beer venue on ACP) has now opened its second location in a new food court – Market 57 at Pier 57 – in Chelsea.

Kim Harris (a Harlem Hops co-owner) noted that years ago many Black people drank beer, but “we were inundated by malt liquor in the 1990s. Once we got the idea of drinking malt liquor, we stopped drinking beer,” and lost out on the burgeoning craft beer trend.

Harris described Harlem Hops as a “craft beer bar,” though she notes that it also sells wine at its new Chelsea location and cocktails in Harlem. Being located in Harlem is the perfect place because “we get tourists from all over the world that hear about us and know we’re a one-stop shop for the most sought-after brews New York tristate has to offer,” she pointed out.

Besides offering 16 draft beers on its menu, including its 5-ounce tasters, it also collaborates with other breweries on developing its own roster of craft beers. For example, it just partnered with Alementary to develop Pier 57 Lager, an Imperial Lager.

And it has also collaborated with Tin Barn Brewing, to develop the aptly named, Harlem Queen, dedicated to Stephanie St. Clair, one of Harlem’s inaugural millionaires.

It also reaches out to African American craft breweries. During Black History Month, almost all of its Harlem taps were devoted to brewers of colors, and at most times, several Black-owned brews are represented.

Harris notes that Harlem Hops is aiming to reach

“the community demographic that has not traditionally been pursued by craft beer companies.”

Its Harlem location opens at 3 p.m. and therefore doesn’t serve lunch, but its Chelsea spot starts at 11 a.m. “In Harlem,” she said, “our patrons aren’t looking for beer much earlier during the week.” On the weekends, it opens earlier.

The Harlem Hopes Scholarships, a foundation created by Harlem Hops serves Harlem students who are headed to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). It seems fitting since the three owners graduated from HBCU’s, and the program offers scholarships and craft-brewing seminars and lessons to let students know that these business opportunities exist.

Learn more, here: https://harlemhops.com/

Art In The Park – Hip Hop’s 50th!

HNBA Meeting on Tuesday, November 10th

HPD has a new report out on housing in New York. One of the issues it addresses is homeownership by Black New Yorkers. On Tuesday at 7:00 PM, the November HNBA meeting will have representatives from Chase Bank discuss strategies for applying for a first-time mortgage, refinancing, and a number of strategies for building your family’s assets.

As the HPD report notes:

…income from employment is a limited measure of financial security and economic opportunity. The most important and direct measure of a resident’s ability to access opportunity and financial security is wealth: the sum of a family’s assets (from equity in a hometo retirement savings) minus the debts a family owes (such as student loans or a mortgage). Data on wealth is not available for New York City residents, but, nationwide, the median wealth of White families is 10 times the wealth of Black and Hispanic families; in 2016, the median wealth of White families was $171,000, while the median wealth was $17,400 among Black families and $20,920 among Hispanic families. These disparities represent the compounded effects of advantages and disadvantages passed across generations.

Racial disparities in homeownership rates suggest some of the reasons for stark disparities in
overall household wealth by race. The Figure above shows that in New York City 28% of Black families and 17% of Hispanic families own their homes, compared to 41% of White families. The differences in homeownership stem in part from differences in the wealth that parents pass on to their children, but also reflect historic and, to some extent, current differences in access to home
mortgage loans. The figure below shows the loans commonly used for buying homes by race and
ethnicity of the borrower. In 2017, White borrowers accounted for 48% of new loans for owneroccupied, 1-4 unit properties in New York City, while Black and Hispanic borrowers each
accounted for less than 10%, far less than a proportionate share of the total population among
New Yorkers.

See: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/hpd/downloads/pdfs/wwl-plan.pdf

Hip Hop Museum ReOpens Today

Today is the re-opening of the [R]Evolution of Hip Hop exhibition. the Hip Hop museum is located in the Terminal Market (near HomeDepot and Costco on Exterior Street) and is specifically adhering to guidance around social distancing and no large group gatherings to protect our patrons and our staff.

The [R]Evolution of Hip Hop: An immersive journey through Hip Hop History is conceived by creative agents from multiple artistic backgrounds that employ archives and experimental storytelling techniques focusing on the five elements of Hip Hop – MCing, DJing, Breakdancing, Aerosol Art,  Knowledge. The new exhibit celebrates Hip Hop’s emergence from the park jams and the projects to night clubs, national concert tours, TV and motion pictures circa 1980 to 1985. The innovative music, art, dance and fashion that first permeated city streets in the Bronx, Harlem, Brooklyn and Queens in the 1970s made its way Downtown. Saavy club promoters and risk-taking entrepreneurs would fuel the commercialization of Hip Hop culture and would give rise to the first Rap record labels, Master-Mixes on Black radio and the first smash hits on the Billboard charts. This arts and cultural revolution would soon spread Hip Hop to the West Coast and to every corner of the world.

[R]Evolution of Hip Hop @ The Bronx Terminal Market610 Exterior Street

Bronx, New York 10451

(Entrance located in the lower area parking lot between Applebee’s and Marisco Centro Restaurant)