presented by Sykez of Era Artist Collective, The HUUB, and Masconsumption Media
PRESS RELEASE —
set the scene.
“I want Don’t Drop the Mic to feel like Wrestlemania. The ghetto version of the biggest show in entertainment without the wrestling. The showcase will be a mixture, epic presentation, a whole other level of what local musicians, artists, and entrepreneurs have to offer. Collaborating with everyone is about building chemistry to elevate the present, and future generations of Orange, New Jersey.” – Ray Sykes
Don’t Drop the Mic is a showcase of local talent through art, music, spoken word, comedy, and more!
The fourth edition of Don’t Drop the Mic happens Friday, March 3, 17 at the HUUB in Orange, N.J. DDTMis a platform for the residents of Orange, and neighboring communities to express themselves.
Don’t Drop the Mic was inspired by the need for safe space for young people to respond to recent spikes in crime and gun violence in Orange.
Associated events and initiatives include, “Speak Your Mind, Draw Your Heart”, Amplifying Youth Voices, The HUUB’s Community Listening Fellowship, and past music showcases hosted by Ray Sykes.
This event has proved to be a tool inviting the city, and building solidarity. As well as use the genre of hip-hop to inspire hope by being a platform and a safe space for youth to express themselves.
The showcase is open to the entire community and all ages. The 4th edition features comedy, poetry, spoken word, and all types of music.
Performers include Sykez, Juice Da Vinci, ASAD, Cloud Boyz, R.E.A.L. Music, Capital Ode, Avie, TheMarcoDorce, and more to be announced closer to the date. Stand-up comedian, George Garcon Jr., Ntokozo Martin Mgidi.
The first two editions of DDTM took place at past emerging artist incubator, Ironworks in New Jersey’s Valley Arts District. Past performers include Capital Ode, Mouse Sucks, Brittany Craig, Swayze, Dannie Swift, G-Watts, Oz, Christopher King, Enigma, A.I.M. Squad, and more local talent.
Britt Bites is a local food blog, and catering organization founded by Brittany Craig. She is a bonafide foodie began sharing on Britt Bites in New Jersey’s Valley Arts District and now has expanded to New York City. She has catered Who Did you Meet? and Takeover networking events, plus more.
Menu: see Britt Bites catering menus the day of events
Quiet Catering is also providing delicious food. The founder is Josh Hewitt, a local chef previously at Hat City Kitchen. He has served his innovative recipes at the Valley Gala, and the Takeover Networking event presented by Masconsumption Media.
Menu: Chicken Florentine, Rice & Beans, Eggplant Parmesan (veggie)
Katz Kocktailz is sponsoring a sangria pitcher, with a secret recipe. Katrina Smith, who I also know as Kat Dolly Black has been a sought after bartender in Essex County and in New York City. She has turned her talents to creating her own cocktail business. She has served bar at Hat City Kitchen, The Office, and Ricaltons in South Orange.
This event is hosted by Sakarra Fite, founder of Kreye Culture. “Kreye is a “safe haven” almost for black culture. a variety of programs and events that encourage and empower members of the black community and those who are curious about our rich culture.” – Sakarra Fite. She has also hosted her own Last Supper showcases, and art shows in Essex County.
During live music performances local visual artists, Mike Malbrough, Stephen Batiz, Amonnie Nicholas, and Vlad Jean will be live painting. All former artist-in-residence at Ironworks (ORNG INK), who has been a part of many collaborative events such as this, Inkalicious Block party, VAMP Festival, and more.
Tunes in between sets will be provided by D.J. Esoteric Blackness, also known as Khari Ricks who’s performed at events in Newark, Portland, and New York City.
There was so much love and support in the room. This night is really hard to put in words, and if you were not there you truly missed out. All I can say is that all the performers brought their A game, and Ray set the intimate stage for artists to perform music straight to the audience. SYKEZ closed the show of course with a hype performance. – Patricia Rogers, 2014 on the first Dont Drop the Mic at Ironworks
“Ray has always been passionate about using the genre of hip-hop to not only change his life but hopefully touch those around him. From Ironworks days, he has always had a group of younger artists he taught how to write, make, and record music. As well as give them a place to perform the music they work so hard on. At the mayoral debate in April Ray asked the question, “What are you all going to do to inspire hope in our youth?” to all the candidates. With this edition of the showcase, he wanted to feel like he was taking matters into his own hands. And with the times were are in now, we both know that it is time to really hit the ground running. Through hip-hop.” – Masconsumption Media, 2016
This is a free event open to the entire community. There is a $5 suggested donation, to help with costs that are associated with throwing a successful community-driven event like Don’t Drop the Mic 4. There is an Eventbrite link & we are accepting donations at the door. www.dontdropthemic.eventbrite.com
The HUUB is the urban ministry of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Essex. The community space, led by Charlie Wirene is a space for people in our community to engage in contributing in building solidarity and talking about a healthier Orange. Past events hosted by The HUUB, RADICAL: Orange Youth-Led Mayoral Debate, Anti-Violence youth forum, 100 Year House Conference, and Don’t Drop the Mic 3 & 4.
Ray Sykes, 24 is a musician, writer and audio wizard from New Jersey. Once at Orange High School he used his music to unite his peers with the group, Soundbox Banditz. SBB, a popular group which led to his self-taught, and collaborative drive. Later with his former video production teacher, Charlie Steiner, he became an artist-in-residence at Ironworks, under Mike Malbrough’s ORNG Ink program. He mentored and educated the next generation on how to write, record and perform music. As well as host showcases like Don’t Drop the Mic to be a platform and sat space for the community to express themselves.
Don’t Drop the Mic 4
Friday, March 3, 2017, 6-10p.m.
The HUUB, 35 Cleveland Street, Orange, New Jersey, 07050
Food, drinks, refreshments provided.
Links to Sykes social media
Written by Patricia Rogers