Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Birthplace of Hip-Hop, under siege

DJ Kool Herc, father of hip hop, aka Clive Campbell popped up in the news today because real estate mogul, Mark Karasick, wants to buy the apartment complex where Herc started it all.

In the summer of 1973, Herc built a hi-fi sound system and threw the first Hip Hop dance party. Having heard him speak over the summer to UW-Madison's First Wave Spoken Word Learning Community, he explained that the event was about bringing people of many musical tastes together in a progressive celebration.
"Don't smoke pot in here. You got a problem with someone, take it outside."
.

Nowadays, residents and benefactors of the working class birthplace, 1520 Sedgwick Avenue are suspicious. What does a guy who has made real estate deals with Donald Trump want with a working-class apartment complex? Will he come in and gentrify it? raise the rents? change the character?

US Sen. Chuck Shumer, D-NY, joins the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board in a plea to buy the property with the help of city funds.



The movement reminds me of Humboldt Park's revulsion of gentrification over here in Chicago, "Humboldt Park No Se Vende!"

15 comments:

Caroline said...

It seems that the combination of tenant involvement & advocacy, the possibility of the building being named an historic site, and the backing of some politicians are all pretty strong forces in the fight against Karasick's bid for the property. Hopefully, the city will get its act together and help the tenants subsidize the purchase. It seems like they have a strong community there, and it would be a shame to kick them out and flip the apartments into overpriced condos.

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