Next week, DJ Cassidy‘s final edition of his famous ‘Pass the Mic’ will air on BET, directly following the 2022 BET Hip Hop Awards. What began as a virtual series hosted from Cassidy’s home grew into a global phenomenon over the last two years. As he prepares to transition ‘Pass the Mic’ from a BET television series into one-time-only live in-person shows, Cassidy sat down with The Source to share how his final performance will be the capstone on celebrating what he calls “one of hip-hop’s golden eras.”

In his true showmanship style, Cassidy is putting on quite the event, teasing an all-star lineup of approximately 20 high-profile hip-hop heavyweights including Busta Rhymes, Method Man, Swiss Beatz, The Lox, Too Short, and Ice Cube, as well as over a dozen surprise artists whom Cassidy refers to as his “hip-hop heroes.”

[Author’s note: I know who they are, and trust me when I say that it will be an epic performance.]

Cassidy explained to The Source how some of his shows have strategically showcased what he refers to as “Hip-Hop’s golden eras.”

He explains how the first golden era of hip-hop is considered by many to span from the early 1980s to the early 1990s, an era that gave birth to the first superstars of the culture – Run DMC, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Salt ‘N Pepa, so on and so on.

“It was this pivotal era that I celebrated with ‘Pass The Mic: Volume Two,’” he explains. “That edition featured thirty-six iconic hip-hop stars, all who debuted between the years of 1983 and 1993. This is best exemplified by the opening and closing songs of the show, “Sucker MCs” by Run DMC which was released in ‘83, and “Hip Hop Hooray” by Naughty By Nature which was released in ‘93.”

The second golden era of Hip-Hop is considered by many to span the ten years that followed. According to Cassidy, during this definitive period, music that would have typically been considered music for the streets became music for the mainstream. “Hip-hop began selling millions of records like never before, transforming global pop culture, from music to fashion to film. Rappers became pop stars, designers, and actors,” he states.

As for how these eras relate to his final installment of the ‘Pass the Mic’ franchise, he explains:

“After premiering ‘Pass The Mic: Volume Two,’ I immediately dreamt of a sequel, and I just knew that sequel should be the grand finale. Hip-hop is my first love and my greatest inspiration, so it felt right that the culmination of the series as we know it should be a celebration of Hip-hop. In this final edition, I’m going to pass the mic to twenty iconic hip-hop superstars, all of whom changed the game in their own massive way. These artists changed the sound, the look, and the influence of the culture. Their careers span decades. Their music transcends time and place. Simply put, this is the grandest finale I could have ever imagined.”

While this edition of ‘Pass The Mic’ marks the grand finale of the series as we know it, it also marks the beginning of the future.

“‘Pass The Mic’ has really just begun and will continue to bring the celebration to party people around the world,” Cassidy says. “One of the next chapters is ‘Pass The Mic Live’ in which I will bring the celebration to the live stage. In anticipation of what’s to come, I’ve already produced two epic pop-up shows, one at the Pegasus World Cup in Miami which featured surprise live performances from Ja Rule, Lil Kim, Mase, and Jadakiss, and one at the opening of the Hard Rock Hotel in New York City which featured surprise live performances from Nas, Busta Rhymes, and Fat Joe. The third pop show will take place on October 21st at the Grand Prix Formula 1 in Austin and will feature live performances from Robin Thicke, Wyclef Jean, and Shaggy. These pop-up shows are just the beginning of what’s to come for ‘Pass The Mic!’”