09/02/2014 04:29 pm ET Updated Nov 01, 2014

Labor Day Is My Hip-Hop Anniversary

I remember it (not like yesterday, it was a long time ago) clearly. After falling completely in love with Flash tapes and the like, I was convinced to be a part of this dynamic cultural movement in some way. Kedar (as in Massenburg) and I went to separate high schools, and one of his friends at Erasmus High was a DJ. His name was Reggie D, and he had an MC named Barshon D. They had an upcoming party at the school, and Barshon D needed rhymes. Kedar asked me to write for him. I did. Wrote what I thought (at the time) were the best Labor Day rhymes ever! Long and short, we (Kedar and I) went to the jam. Reggie was dope. Barshon was not. He mangled the lyrics I wrote, and I vowed from then on to write for myself.

An anniversary of this sort is seldom mentioned, but for me its a BIG deal. Not only am I a part of musical history, but the impact on culture is unmatched. To know hip hop truly, is to know its beginnings; there was nothing like it. I often say to young people in the culture nowadays, I regret they don't get to experience what we did. We didn't share DJs, clubs or radio with pop artists. We had our own DJs (shout out to Afrika Islam) our own clubs, our own style, and if you copied us we'd call you out. There is something to be said about being unique, original, authentic and specific.

So as many of my friends from the West Indies celebrate their cultural roots on this day, I celebrate my hip hop roots on this day. And to all my original crew members, MC Delite, Crown Supreme, Aasim, The Lord Shamel (Hakeem Abdul), Dell Dee, Djs Howie and Steve, and R.I.P. Dj Bushon, Happy Labor Day.

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