2/19/14

NYC 1989: THE YUSEF HAWKINS "STOP THE RACISM" RALLY



"Rob The Mob" takes place in a very different New York City than the one we now know. In the late 80's/early 90's racial unrest--combined with a soaring crime rate and a devastating cocaine/crack explosion on the streets--led to a series of increasingly divisive incidents that seemed, at the time, to mark the end of any civil rights progress that might have been achieved in the previous decades. One of the most significant incidents that drew out the racial unrest in New York during this time was the murder of Yusef Hawkins, a 16-year-old black teenager who was shot to death by a group of white teenagers who he didn’t know in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn on August 23, 1989.  New York magazine wrote a cover story on the case:


On September 17, 1989, KRS-One and Big Daddy Kane, along with Doug E. Fresh, Public Enemy, the female rapper MC Trouble and others, organized a “Stop the Racism” rally and concert in Hawkins' memory in Harlem, which about 10,000 people attended.  There's some great footage of the concert below, and a ton more on youtube.  It's a fun touch to note how completely the clothes - especially the outfit Big Daddy Kane is wearing - have come back around into fashion over the past few years.

Everyone who was anyone in that culture in that time seemed to have been there. LL Cool J came and according to an eye witness "didn't do anything and his ass got booed." RunDMC performed. Below dig Big Daddy Kane:



The closer was "Self Destruction".





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1 comment:

  1. I am not a rapper bit I enjoyed this
    especially the self destruction very nicely put
    together but like with most new music today did not understand one word that was said in the first one.
    A bunch of young folks doing what they do in a good
    way. Kind of cool. Entertainment is an energy level
    I myself am doing a comedy stand up act this
    week end they probably will say to there self
    What is he saying?

    ReplyDelete