Black History Month is celebration of progress. It’s a part of our history and it shows how far we as a people have come- black, white and society as a whole. Black History Month focuses on every element of the black experience. From the atrocities of slavery to the status quo of today, we take this time to look back at where we’ve been and where we can go as a people. In order to pay respect to this special month, CHRW celebrated black history month on Feb 25th with 24 hours of all black voices and culture. During these 24 hours black artists from across the globe were showcased, giving a voice to the black experience. These genres include Jazz, Blues, Soul, rock and roll and of course, hip-hop and R&B music.
The CHRW’s 24 hours of black history was concluded with The Consignment Show’s presentation, The All Black Everything Rap Up. This was a live broadcast at the CHRW studio with three live acts performing in the booth. Artists Keno, Haviah and Casper came to CHRW to share what Black History Month meant to them, and to showcase their musical talent. It was truly inspiring to see all these artist come together in a celebration of black music. Though each artist had their own unique story to share, the common theme in all of their art was progression.
Keno was the first artist to perform. He shared with the listeners that Black History Month was an important time of the year for him. As a Young black male with a Canadian and Zambia background, Keno takes pride in his heritage. The most influential black figure in history to Keno is Mister float like a butterfly, sting like a bee- Muhamad Ali. The man with the right hook and a way with words inspires Keno to be the best performer he can be. When you listen to his music that same slick talking Ali energy is felt.
Keno started the set off with his track “London We Made It,” his rendition of Drake’s classic cut, “We Made it.” This track has gained Keno notoriety in the London hip hop circuit, and it is dedicated to his city. Feeding off the energy from his first track Keno moved into his singles “Precious” and “The Devil is Alive.” To end his set Keno and collaborator Casper performed an accapella version for his biggest hit, “Letter to Heaven.” Keno explained that the inspiration behind “Letter to Heaven” was an attempt to reach out to all the lost family members Keno and Casper owe their success to.
The Consignment’s second performer was rap artist, singer and guitarist Haviah Mighty. As a triple threat, the sky is the limit in regards to where Haviah’s talents can take her. Wise beyond her years, Haviah’s stance on Black History Month is that everyone should be aware of where they come from and what their history is- an appreciation for your past to projects your future. Haviah looks up to any individual through history that has made life better for blacks, and the world as a whole- specifically Martin Luther King Jr. and Marcus Garvey.
Haviah’s everyday gentle demeanor is put to the wayside when she gets into a performance. Bringing astonishing power and feeling to her songs, Haviah has mastered flowing between singing and rapping- a modern day Lauryn Hill you could argue (and you wouldn’t be wrong). Haviah’s first performance in the booth was her single “Imagine,” produced by T.O.P. Haviah brought her full personality into the recording booth, sharing vulnerable lyrics with a confident swagger. Haviah then went into her next track “Want For Me,” lyrically destroying the beat like female Kendrick. Moving forward Haviah switched the tempo of the performance slowing things down with her guitar to perform a cover of Beyonce’s “Drunk in Love.” To wrap up her set, Miss Mighty went in over Drizzy’s instrumental for “Trophies” and said her good byes to the listeners signing off with her soulful track “Falling Slowly.”
In between sets DJ Ruckus played jam after jam to keep that live hip hop vibe for the listeners at home, as well as the performers in the studio. Classic cuts like 2pac’s “Keep Ya Head Up” and Ice Cubes “Today Was a Good Day” vibrated through the studio as Casper, the final act for the night prepped his performance.
February had been a busy month for the London emcee. Coming off of several live performance, Casper made it a point to come through the CHRW studio to share why Black History Month is so important to him. With a bi-racial background, Black History Month is all about equality and unity for Casper. Casper told listeners that twenty-six years ago a good couple from two difference races came together in love and harmony to bring Casper into the world- why focus on our differences when we can do so many amazing things together.
Casper got right to business in the booth, setting it off with his head banger track “Full Retard.” Known for a hard hitting flow and creative punch lines, Casper was just warming up to put an already successful broadcast over the top. Casper’s raspy voice resulting from a month full of performances gave his live set an edge reminiscent of Michael Jordan grinding it out in the fourth. Traveling city to city for photo shoots and performances days prior to the All Black Everything Rap Up, Casper illustrated that his continuous grind has only made him a more prolific live performer. Each track flowed flawlessly into the next as Casper performed his self-titled track, “Casper the Ghost” and “So Damn Hot“- a track which has thousands upon thousands of hits on the Youtube machine. As the clock got closer to midnight, Casper ended the twenty-four hour celebration of music with his hit “Lets Get Ready to Rumble” and an epic freestyle, proving to the audience that Casper is the real deal for Canadian hip hop.
The All Black Everything Rap UP was a look back at the impact black culture has had one music. Modern day hip hop music wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the foundation laid out by black blues artist, jazz musicians and rock and rollers from the past. For 24 hours we paid respect to the innovators of hip hop music, and got to witness an amazing showcase of talented artists with hometown roots. Be on the lookout for these three artists, to quote the late great biggie smalls, “The Sky is the Limit.” Check out the entire performance below.