A worldwide ban on concerts and other gatherings didn’t stop some of hip-hop’s biggest names from virtually joining together on Thursday night for the HIP HOP LOVES NY virtual benefit event, which was sponsored by the Universal Hip Hop Museum and streamed on Mass Appeal’s YouTube channel.


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The streaming event’s epic lineup included hip-hop legends such as Nas, Chuck D of Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Ice-T, Wu-Tang Clan, De La Soul, Kurtis Blow, Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, and many more, Ralph McDaniels, Video Music Box co-creator also hosted other special guests including Ice-T, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, Rob Base, Michael Blake (New York State assemblyman), Fab 5 Freddy, Angela Simmons, Ruben Diaz Jr. (Bronx politician), Sway Calloway, and more.

The event ended with Rita Wilson (wife of Tom Hanks), who was one of the first people affected with COVID rapping alongside Naughty By Nature to their hit “Hip Hop Hurray” on a split-screen.

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In addition to entertaining and engaging fans, the event also served as a tribute to healthcare workers and as a fundraiser for those whose lives have been affected by COVID.

Proceeds from the benefit will go to SOMO Community Care and The Bronx Community Relief Effort to aid in COVID relief. Viewers could pledge via text to 646-992-8446 and donors can continue to donate in the coming days.

The Universal Hip Hop Museum, located in the Bronx, celebrates, and preserves the history of local and global hip-hop music and culture to inspire, empower, and promote understanding. “During times of crisis, the Hip Hop community has come together to help mend the broken and uplift the downtrodden. HIP HOP LOVES NY is our way of showing support and thanks,” UHHM said on their website.

Mass Appeal is an entertainment company dedicated to telling stories from the perspective of those who shape and shift culture. Since 1996, we have documented the emerging movements that influence popular ideas.