2016 Inaugural WoHH Elements Awardees: (left to right) Brother Nathaniel (Zulu Nation), Grand Wizzard Theodore, Christie Z Pabon (Tools of War), Grand Master Melle Mel, Bronx BP Ruben Diaz, Jr., Joe Conzo, Jr., Grand Master Caz, and EZ AD. Photo Credit: Paul La Salle
This past Thursday (January 28), Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., in collaboration with Windows of Hip Hop (WoHH), hosted The First 2016 Inaugural Element Awards. All honorees received Citations of Merit for their community service and spreading the Hip Hop culture.
“Hip Hop was born in The Bronx and it was the voice of the voiceless for a long time, telling people what was happening in our neighborhoods, in our streets, when no one was listening,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Without the pioneers, such as the folks at ‘Windows of Hip Hop,’ there is no Drake, there is no Kanye West, there is no Jay-Z playing on the radio. That’s why it is important to recognize those who paved the road to one of the most important and popular genres of music in the industry.”
Lisa Mateo, PIX 11 News, was excited to host the Inaugural Element Awards. Via InstaGram.
Emceeing the inaugural awards event was Lisa Mateo of WPIX11 News. On InstaGram, Ms. Mateo posted about her excitement in hosting the event. She also thanked Yasmin Cruz, President of Image Marketing, for inviting her to emcee Thursday evening’s historic moment in Bronx Hip Hop history.
Joe Conzo, Jr., Grand Master Caz, Grand Master Melle Mel, Grand Wizzard Theodore, Afrika Bambaataa (Zulu Nation), Tony Tone (the Legendary Cold Crush Brothers), and Tools of War (Host Hip Hop Park Jams). Zulu Nation Warrior Security Brother Nathaniel accepted award on behalf of Afrika Bambaataa. Christie Z Pabon accepted the honor on behalf of Tools of War, which has hosted ‘Park Jams’ for the last 14 years.
Grandmaster Melle Mel (left) was one of the many legends honored at the Inaugural Windows of Hip Hop Element Awards. Here he is with emcee Lisa Mateo and his Certificate Merit award from BP Diaz. Instagram
Joining Bronx Borough President Diaz and the WoHH honorees, was Councilwoman Vanessa L. Gibson, in recognizing the pioneers and trailblazers in hip-hop history. Gibson’s district includes the landmark 1520 Sedgwick Avenue building widely known as the birthplace of Hip Hop. Beginning in 1973, Hip Hop legend DJ Kool Herc regularly threw parties there.
Melissa Libran, WoHH CEO, Brother Nathaniel, and Bronx Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson celebrated the spiritual elements underlining the origins of Hip Hop. Facebook
“It is truly important to pay tribute and recognize the value that hip-hop has been for the Bronx and the City of New York. Hip Hop is the foundation of our cultural diversity and our founding fathers of hip hop are an important part of our history,” said CM Gibson.
CM Gibson is sponsoring a local law to co-name Sedgwick Avenue as “Hip Hop Boulevard.” Gibson is also working with City Council colleagues, stakeholders and others to open the long anticipated Hip Hop Museum in the Bronx.
Hip Hop Legends “Uncle” Ralph McDaniels of Video Music Box fame, EZ AD of the legendary Cold Crush Brothers, and Rodney C, Funky 4 + 1 More numbered among the Hip Hop pioneers in attendance at Salsa Caterers.
Pop Master Fabel, Grandmaster Caz, Grand Master Melle Mel, and EZ AD. Photo credit: Christie Z. Pabon
The event was held at Salsa Catering in the Bronx at 1779 Webster Avenue in the Bronx.
Diaz posted on Instagram: “We had a great time this evening with Windows of Hip Hop at the 2016 Element Awards! Thank you to everyone who came out this evening to celebrate the legends of #hiphop in the place where it all began, The Bronx!”
Yasmin Cruz (President, Image Marketing), Lisa Mateo, Sara Sanabria-Rivera (Bronx Borough President’s Office), and Melissa Libran (CEO, Windows of Hip Hop). Photo Credit: Paul La Salle
Windows of Hip Hop is a nonprofit, Bronx-based economic development organization promoting the educational, communal, and historical perspectives of Hip Hop. WoHH seeks to develop the Educational Hip Hop campus, one of several projects which would represent the core principles of the Hip Hop community, positive social action, and having fun.
Photo credits: Christie Z and Fabel Pabon, Ylana LaSalle and Nicole Jackson.
This post was updated to reflect that the Windows of Hip Hop organization is not involved in developing a museum, but, instead, are developing an Educational Hip Hop campus.