(REAL) Thoughts on Hip-Hop Week MKE

* Please be informed CopyWrite Magazine has no connections to the planning, programming or outcome of Hip-Hop Week MKE 2018. All press release, media, and information regarding this event provided by CopyWrite Magazine have been provided by official event coordinators, event attendees, members of the community and public forum research.

It happened. 

As announced at the beginning of this year, Hip-Hop Week MKE (2018) took place this past week from August 20th-26th, pushing the culture “Through the lens of health, financial literacy, and civic engagement”. The agenda of this City of Milwaukee Common Council approved six-day affair has been at the foundation of many on (and off) the record conversations discussed by the local Hip-Hop community, corporate partners and city officials, alike.

As an active media outlet of the Milwaukee Hip-Hop and Creative scene, CopyWrite has been checking in on the progress of the event planning, contributors, and real local Hip-Hop community engagement since day one. With that being said, of course, we showed up to many of the scheduled events, sending out in-house staff, CW connects, “Shooters” and the other eyes that would prefer to stay anonymous (Check all your sources). 

* Image Provided by www.hiphopweekmke.com

* Image Provided by www.hiphopweekmke.com

From our perspective some noteworthy moments included:

  •  The public apology of Rico Love to the city of Milwaukee for his neglect of his community after gaining major success delivered at the Keynote Address on opening day. (Do we forgive him? Yes. Will we forget it? No. It has to continue to serve a reminder of the actions we do not want to promote as we strive for greatness in our city. However, the insight gained from the apology and address where inspiring, reaffirm that many of us are on the right path.)
  • The Masters of Ceremonies performances at the Miller High Life theater we striking in many ways. But we will put it like this. . . We never thought we would witness some of those acts grace that stage, and we probably never will again. Whatever type of catalyst that has been created we hope will be a positive one. 
  • The Dissect session at 88nine Radio Milwaukee on Kendric Lamars ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ with Spotify Dissect podcast host, Cole Cuchana accompanied by Jordan Lee, was an interesting look at Hip-Hop musical artistry. By analyzing Kendric's project in the same way one would analyze the work of a classical composer, Cuchana’s dissection promoted an analytical theory to what for many has become cultural understanding. This allows for the Hip-hop novice to understand the social significance of his art and the Hip-Hop legacy (Tupac lives).
  • #Respect to the living legends. The fact the DJ Kool Herc was in our city for the first Hip-Hop Week MKE is bonkers! Regardless if you got see him speak or not it should be inspiring to note how Hip-Hop has grown and how the origins of the culture are reflected through people. Our actions in real time may affect a lifetime. Thank you Dj Kool Herc. Without you, we may have never.
  • The grand opening of the Fiserv Forum (the new Bucks Arena), mmmm hmmm. See we like how yall tacked that on there. The building is dope! The performances were a nice touch. We enjoyed the free tour. Sooooooo. . . this means we will be getting more major Hip-Hop concerts in Milwaukee, right? That was the point, correct? (Who is coming with us to see Travis Scott???)

Yea, it was a pretty “eventful” week. ( Check out images from Hip-Hop Week Here )

Alderman Rainey speaks at the KICKOFF Event of Hip-Hop Week MKE

We already released our expectations of Hip-Hop Week MKE in our press release interview “SnapShot Press Release: MKE Hip-Hop Week” with Alderman Khalif Rainey, who was the primary sponsor of the initiative. In our conversation we were keen on discussing how contributions from local MKE stakeholders would be apart of the planning and success of the event by asking:

“So you have covered a lot of things here and all of these things sound great. So how are we making sure we include our local artists (and Hip-Hop movement contributors) into the mix? They want to be a part of this and this is their city so they should be.”

In which we Alderman Rainey replied:

Ald. KR: [Following that the week is officially passed by the Common Council, which as of just February 27th, 2018, it was approved unanimously] “...after that, we have to set up some kind of advisory board that includes people in the community who have value” - And insight into what’s going on out here? 

So who was on that board? Well...we are not quite sure.

Checking in with the local contributors of everyday Hip-Hop in MKE, very few of them were apart of any of the action and many of our audience members have reached out to ask why. 
As informative as this post may sound, we must begrudgingly cut to the chase. 
How was  Hip-Hop Week MKE? 

It was. . . missing something. 

We enjoyed parts. We disliked others. We heard a lot of criticism, some positive feedback and some worries that we wish we could have avoided. But unfortunately even with our bias (yes, we know we have a bias), reaching out to you, our audience, our friends, our peers, our Milwaukee Hip-Hop supporters, the DJ’s, the rappers, the visual artist, the poets, the photographers, the dancers, the podcast host, the aux cord aficionados, the people who breathe the culture everyday, and are relevant in its POSITIVE GROWTH, most of you were looking for something different.

Comments we heard both +/- :

  • Physical pat downs at the Miller High Life Theater? Since when?
  • Appreciate the events for all ages because Hip-Hop has no one generation. We all love it!
  • Can't wait till next year! (Said with both criticism and applauding)
  • Bringing a bunch of big name old heads to the city does nothing to celebrate what Milwaukee Hip-Hop is. 
  • They left out local entities that are Hip-Hop 365 days a year. Who are you trying to reach if not the community?
  • There was an event to cover each of the directed lens: Health, Financial, and Civic Engagement.
  • Did we touch all 5 pillars of Hip-Hop? (Graffiti Art, DJing, MCing, Break Dancing, & Knowledge) 
  • Where was the visual art? Didn’t see a graffiti artist, hip-hop mural, or album art anywhere.
  • Let's talk authenticity (Again. . . said with both criticism and applauding)
  • Free Shirt! Who dis? Lol

& that the “REAL RAP RAW” 

No matter what you define the success of Hip-Hop Week MKE (2018) as we can only hope that we have an opportunity next year to elevate all of our opinions.


The reality has always been that the planning and delivery of the events were only symbolic. As stated time and time again, those of us who live #ForTheCulture know what our roles are in elevating our community. Those who still doubt what legitimate communal practices are, or only pushing philanthropic agendas to fix guilty consciouses will not be reading this. 
For the love of Hip-Hop, our city has spoken. Now, who will put its words to the beat?


via the desk of Editor-in-Chief
/Lexi S. Brunson