Empower Black Voices: Hip Hop - Healing or Hurting the Culture? (A Panel Discussion)

Does ART imitate LIFE? Or does LIFE imitate ART?

There has been a long-standing debate though, amongst many Black and Indigenous circles about the affects of hip-hop music on the culture.

This panel discussion aims to offer a platform to discuss the perception of our culture and how music has impacted our realities. 

During this virtual event, a panel of professional music artists, journalists and hip-hop enthusiasts discuss the importance of music to our culture, how language and communication impacts the masses and the future of hip-hop.

Moderated by Jonny Fastlane

WHEN: Tuesday, August 18th 2020 @ 7p (EDT)



About the Panelists

Meet MC Sha-Rock, First Female MC of Hip-Hop 

MC Sha-Rock is a pioneer in the hip-hop industry. Her legacy as the first female emcee in hip-hop. She is a founding member of the Funky 4 + 1 More and was one of the first hip-hop performers to make appearances on national television.

Born in Wilmington, North Carolina, MC Sha-Rock moved to the Bronx, NY during the early 1970s where she began her career as a B-girl. Later, she would become known as "The Hip Hop Culture's First Female Emcee/Rapper." 

MC Sha-Rock has also made guest appearances in movies such as "Beat Street" and "Us Girls." In a male dominated field, MC Sha-Rock stands out for her skills and ability to rhyme & flow. "She stands as a Hip Hop icon, role model, and most importantly, as the foundation of female emcees." 

MC Sha-Rock is a National Advisor for the Cornell University Hip Hop Library Collection. She is also known for her philanthropic work within the criminal justice and education systems. MC Sha-Rock is committed to preserving the history and fundamentals of the Hip Hop culture, which she does through her organization "Tomorrow's Footprints." 

To learn more about MC Sha-Rock visit her online.  


Meet Lord Jamar, Brand Nubian/Yanadameen Godcast

Lord Jamar, is a rapper, recording artist, DJ, producer, actor and podcaster. He is a founding member of Brand Nubian and the creator and host of Yanadameen Godcast

Jamar has an extensive background in the hip-hop industry. He has been noted for discovering the group, Dead Prez. He has also worked along side the likes of Jazzy Jay, UGK, A Tribe Called Quest and a host of other performers. 

His career as an actor and tv personality has landed roles on productions such as Oz, The SopranosDon't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood and most recently, For Life and The Last O.G


Meet Spuddy Roots, Musician

Spuddy Roots also known as D>Tour is an emcee, songwriter, percussionist and producer. He has performed at events and venues such as Soul in the Horn, LocFest, Chelsea Music Hall and Bunna Cafe. He has performed on multiple occasions at The Black Lady Theatre.

Spuddy can be heard playing alongside artists such as The Silent Celeb, Bree Mendez, Ayce, and Ruby G. Spuddy Roots also performs with and manages the legendary band Ashanti Drummers.  


Meet Omar Hardy, Owner of The Black Lady Theatre

Omar Hardy, is the co-owner of the legendary The Black Lady Theatre. He was gifted the opportunity and the responsibility of preserving the legacy of his great ancestors. Omar Hardy, son of Clarence Jr. 2X Hardy Shabazz, has rightfully taken the torch handed down to him from his father. Clarence Hardy Jr., friends and business partner of the late Judge John L. Phillips Jr., founder of The Slave Theater, encouraged Omar to take the lead role of the family business in 2010.

Omar is also known for his appreciation and love for music. Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, alongside his uncle, he was introduced to Hip Hop at an early age. Carrying crates and speakers for his uncle opened the door for Omar to experiment with DJ'ing. Today, he is known as DJ SkeptiKal. 

Beyond music, Omar appreciates arts & culture as a whole. He is also an entrepreneur who owns numerous other companies including a print shop. Omar has plans to release his podcast in the coming weeks.  

Omar Hardy works diligently everyday to maintain the legacy while honoring the visions of success, unity and continued growth, shared by many African leaders for those people affected by the mass division of African people during the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Meet Darryl Harrison, Hip Hop Enthusiast/Videographer  


Darryl Harrison is a Brooklynite who has an affinity to music and culture. As a "Culture Enthusiast," he documents the history and events of the culture through video and still imagery.

Darryl is Co-Producer and Director of Photography of a documentary currently titled Black Theatre Project, A Movement which traces the rich history and relevancy to today’s pop culture. He was most recently interviewed by Black Thought of the legendary Roots Crew. 

Darryl is also a poet and father. 


Meet Jonny Fastlane, Hip Hop Journalist

Jonny Fastlane brings you daily Hip Hop News! He provides newsworthy updates and content via YouTube and Instagram. 

He has worked alongside Lord Jamar and Fatman Scoop. In 2019, Jonny Fastlane performed at The Black Lady Theatre as co-host of Fashion Kan, a NY Fashion week Fashion Show.