Hip-Hop, the subculture and art movement that emerged in New York City in the late 1970s, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and a few East Coast craft breweries are paying homage via special releases and celebrations.
Brooklyn Brewery is promoting a limited-edition Brooklyn Lager featuring Notorious B.I.G and bunch of other goodies. This pairing is just perfectly fitting — both emerging from Brooklyn in the ‘90s, both achieving local acclaim before attaining global status.
Coinciding with the release, a special capsule collection of limited edition apparel and accessories will be on sale on August 4, online and in the Brooklyn Brewery Tasting Room. In conjunction with the release of the limited-edition Brooklyn Lager, Brooklyn Brewery has teamed up with Wax Poetics – the acclaimed music journal, who has long been recognized for their deep appreciation of music, culture, and art – for a 3-part series to celebrate Notorious B.I.G.’s enduring cultural legacy.
August 17 | In Conversation & DJ Set with Easy Mo Bee at Brooklyn Brewery’s Williamsburg Tasting Room. Producer Easy Mo Bee will join Wax Poetics Magazine’s Editor-At-Large Andrew “Monk-One” Mason to reflect on the early ’90s New York City milieu that gave birth to this musical phenomenon. Mo Bee will also break down some of his classic beats that powered Biggie’s legendary Ready To Die album and other unforgettable songs of the era. Following the talk, Mo Bee switches to DJ mode for a dance party, joined on the decks by Monk-One and more.
August 31 | B.I.G.: Lineage of a Legend Photography Exhibition Launch Party at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA). The Notorious B.I.G. has burned an indelible image, built of many personas into the minds of millions across the world. MoCADA in Brooklyn will host a photo exhibition exploring Biggie’s personas and their wider influence on hip-hop.
Sept. 14 | Masta Ace with Marco Polo + MIKE Closing Series Party at BRIC. The series concludes with a finale celebrating Brooklyn hip-hop in its fullest spectrum, old school to new, with a concert at BRIC in Brooklyn. Curated by Wax Poetics, the line-up is headlined by storytelling golden era MC Masta Ace and rising star MIKE who continues to shine the torch for quality homegrown hip-hop.
New Jersey’s first black-owned brewery, Montclair Brewery, is collaborating with New Jersey-based hip-hop DJs “The Awesome 2” on Salute, a crisp golden ale being released on draft and in cans on August 4.
Montclair Brewery’s co-owner & general manager Denise Ford Sawadogo grew up in the midst of hip-hop, like many other New Yorkers during that time she was a huge fan, especially of the East Coast rappers like Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J, Salt-N-Pepa, and many others.
“I am excited about hip-hop turning 50 this year and definitely wanted to do something special to celebrate this accomplishment,” says Ford Sawadogo. Her husband and co-owner/head brewer, Leo Sawadogo’s, earlier career was as a radio host back in his home country in West Africa, and he is also a huge music connoisseur.
“I really loved meeting Awesome 2 and learning how they have traveled the world, including to London, and the Ivory Coast to share the hip-hop movement,” adds Sawadogo. “When they came to us with the idea of brewing a golden ale for hip-hop’s golden anniversary, I couldn’t refuse,” quips Sawadogo.
The Awesome 2 has been spinning hip-hop tunes for over 40 years. The duo is based in New Jersey, playing on 105.9 WHBI since the very emergence of hip-hop. “It’s an honor to celebrate the culture that has shaped us and so many others. This collaboration represents the essence of hip-hop’s spirit—innovative, diverse, and full of soul.” Special K said. “As the first black-owned brewery in New Jersey, it’s a no-brainer that we’d come to them to collaborate. Hip-hop is all about breaking barriers and celebrating diversity, and that’s something we admire about Montclair,” Teddy Tedd adds.
The launch event will honor the many aspects of hip-hop and will include performances, graffiti artists, DJs, art, and food.
On Friday, August 4th, the Awesome 2 curated a day of live DJs, food by Notorious BBQ, live drawings, and performances at their beer garden stage and taproom. On Saturday, August 5th, there will be an art closing by Corey Lightfoot, graffiti battle, food vendor, a vinyl dig hosted by Bash & Pop records, and graffiti black book signing. Guests are encouraged to wear their favorite throwback hip-hop outfits.