Kickin’ it old school: Hip-hop trailblazers to hit the stage in Wingate Park

The Brooklyn Paper
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Presenting the freshest of the old school!

A free summer concert series will take fans back to hip-hop’s infancy, with performances from genre pioneers Doug E. Fresh, Kurtis Blow, and Brooklyn’s own Special Ed. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Concert Series at Wingate Park will feature the three rappers on its final show of the season, on Aug. 17. Borough President Adams said he was honored to play host to the series.

“Wingate Park is the hot spot for cool entertainment and free fun in Central Brooklyn,” said Borough President Adams. “These shows are emblematic of the commitment to bringing our communities together in a celebration of the spirit that makes us one Brooklyn.”

One of the event’s organizers said Old School Night is a series tradition.

“We have been doing an old school night for many years and we are pleased to be presenting these acts this season free to the public,” said Debra Garcia, the executive producer of the concert series.

The nostalgia night will give fans a chance to learn the Dougie from the master himself. Doug E. Fresh, aka The Original Human Beatbox, and his Get Fresh Crew ruled the airwaves in 1985, releasing hits “The Show” and “La Di Da Di.” Young people today, however, might know Fresh more for his moves than his sounds. A 2010 song by Cali Swag District, “Teach Me How to Dougie,” again made popular the dance inspired by Fresh’s gyrations, and his is sure to bust out the moves.

All three performers have left major marks on hip-hop. Kurtis Blow was the first rapper to score a record deal with a major label, and his 1980 debut made waves thanks to the hit single, “Christmas Rappin’.” Blow’s other hits included “The Breaks,” the first rap song to be certified gold, and “Basketball,” an ode to the sport that helped create the rap trend of referencing NBA stars. These days Blow, a licensed minister and founder of the Hip-Hop Church, teaches ministry at Nyack College.

Flatbush and Canarsie’s own Ed Archer, better known as Special Ed, became a star at age 16, thanks to his aptly-named 1989 album, “Youngest in Charge.” His rapid-fire rhyme delivery on collar-popping tracks such as “I Got It Made” and “I’m the Magnificent” made him a star. Archer later joined the rap supergroup Crooklyn Dodgers, whose single “Crooklyn,” was featured in Spike Lee’s titular film.

Old School Night featuring Doug E. Fresh, Kurtis Blow, and Special Ed at Wingate Park [Brooklyn Avenue between Winthrop and Rutland streets in Prospect Lefferts Gardens,] Aug. 17 at 7:30 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Eric Faynberg at (718) 260–2508 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @ericfaynberg.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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