PEOPLE Weekly: The South Bronx Was Getting A Bad Rap Until A Club Called Disco Fever Came Along
LEHMAN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS presents
38th Anniversary of the Legendary Bronx Nightclub Disco Fever
OLD SCHOOL HIP HOP CONCERT
Celebrating Bronx 44th Annual Bronx Day where Hip Hop was born
and kicking off for the Bronx Week festivities!
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in association with Sal Abbatiello of Fever Records celebrates the 38th Anniversary of the legendary Bronx nightclub Disco Fever with a night of OLD SCHOOL HIP HOP: Fever Re-Union Throw-Back Concert on Saturday, May 9th, 2015 at 7pm. In the early 1970’s the Hip Hop musical genre was born in the neighborhoods of the South Bronx. The Fever Re-Union concert will feature performances by KURTIS BLOW “The Breaks,” ROB BASE “It Takes Two,” SUGARHILL GANG “Rappers Delight,” BIZ MARKIE “Just A Friend,” GRANDMASTER MELLE MEL & SCORPIO of THE FURIOUS FIVE “The Message,” SOULSONIC FORCE “Planet Rock,” SWEET G “Games People Play,” MC SHAN “The Bridge,” FEARLESS FOUR “Rockin It,” T-SKI VALLEY “Catch the Beat,” SPYDER-D “Smerphies Dance,” SPOONIE GEE “Spooin’ Rap,” BUSY BEE STARKI “Running Things” and More Groups to be announced. Hosted by SAL ABBATIELLO and DR BOB LEE. Music by DJ MARLEY MARL, DJ HOLLYWOOD and DJ BRUCIE B. Produced by Lehman Center and Sal Abbatiello.
If you tell an average person you love freestyle music, you’ll likely have them scratching their heads, or possibly asking you about the art of rapping off the cuff. But to a large amount of Latinos and other club-going people who grew up in New York City and Southern Florida during the mid to late 1980’s, freestyle music was an unavoidable part of pop culture, a great source of pride to the Hispanic population, and, twenty years later, is still looked upon with a dewy-eyed nostalgia often reserved for musical movements on at least a national level.
So what exactly is freestyle? A quintessential answer comes from Judy Torres—a former singer who now runs a freestyle show on NYC’s WKTU—during a 2006 interview with The Village Voice:
“Freestyle songs are like really dramatic Spanish soap operas—being in love, breaking up, catching someone cheating on you—intense and passionate, slightly overdramatic.”
Fueling these musical telenovelas was pop music that fused the electro hip-hop sound with Latin rhythms and melodies, and featured young, untrained (often female) singers telling tumultuous tales of love won and lost. Before Reggaeton, Ricky Martin, and Jennifer Lopez, freestyle was the musical voice for young English speaking Latinos.
Mass Appeal March 2007