I’ve always known the true innate transformational power of Hip Hop, and I wanted to bring that to Milwaukee in a meaningful way with Hip Hop Week MKE – taking place for the first time ever at venues across the city August 20 – August 26.

For those looking forward to enjoying this inaugural run of Hip Hop Week MKE, a sincere thank you should be directed to my Milwaukee Common Council colleagues, who approved my then-proposed Hip Hop Week MKE as an OFFICIAL City of Milwaukee event on January 4, 2018.

That was a good day.

As so many of us have grown up in this generation, we have been heavily influenced by the culture, poetry and power of Hip Hop. I was born and raised in this city and I know how strong Milwaukee is and how strong we are as a community when we support each other. This is part of what Hip Hop is all about, inspiring change and bringing people together, and that’s why bringing it to our city at this time is so important.  For these reasons, I am extremely proud to introduce Hip Hop Week MKE to bring themed performances and programming to venues across the city.

But that’s not all. The primary goal of Hip Hop Week MKE is to open the dialogue to talk about important ways to improve the lives of people in Milwaukee. We are using the culture and context of music’s leading genre -- Hip Hop -- to do just that.

I want Hip Hop Week MKE to help improve Milwaukee through financial seminars, by discussing wellness and human health, encouraging good nutritional habits and increasing voter engagement and turnout at the polls. The reason for this is simple: It's to empower and give us a voice when we feel voiceless. There has been so much negativity in Milwaukee and Hip Hop Week was created to help us celebrate love and unity in Milwaukee.

Finding ways to connect with each other is more important than ever right now and one of my goals is to connect Milwaukee residents with resources that will benefit them and their families for generations to come. Hip Hop is “not a moment, it’s the movement” that has the capacity to unify us and lead us to clarity about how we can all live a better quality of life, support one another, achieve our goals and reach our dreams.

Once again, this is why I‘m so enthusiastic to introduce the first Hip Hop Week in Milwaukee’s History. I encourage everyone to be a part of it. From Monday, August 20 to Sunday, August 26, the music and especially the culture of Hip Hop will be filling the streets and Milwaukee performance venues near you.

The lineup so far for Hip Hop Week MKE includes: The Rza of the Wu Tang Clan at the Oriental Theater, The Legends of Summer Tour at the Riverside Theater (Young Buck, Lil Flip, Mike Jones, Big Mike, Mc Eight, CMW, Luniz, Dru Down, and Pooh Man), Ghostface Killah at the Rave, DJ Kool Herc at the Miller High Life Theater and Baby Drew at Mr. J’s Lounge.

Also not to be missed: Jay Morrison at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society discussing financial intelligence and Hip Hop Legend Masta Ace (who is battling MS) discussing health at St. Joseph Hospital.

There will also be events at Journey House (S. 21st and W. Scott), Gee’s Clippers (2200 N. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr.), and the Miramar Theatre (2844 N. Oakland Ave.). Please go to hiphopweekmke.com for more details and updates to the schedule. I hope to see everyone in Milwaukee enjoying the music and culture during Hip Hop Week MKE.