By Dymond Alexis
Mickey Bentson is not only one of hip-hop’s pioneers but, he’s also working towards continuing the Art of Rap in festival form and creating opportunities for those to learn about how hip-hop started. Bentson serves as one of the co-founders of Zulu Nation, the group that birthed hip-hop.
The group began to decipher whether people would take the time out and listen to music, Mickey and friends began playing hip-hop music in the projects, people game from different burroughs to witness what was happening in culture. Ten years after hip-hop was created, Mickey met west coast rapper Ice-T ten years later and the two instantly meshed. Bentson moved to Los Angeles to assist Ice-T with his career and became his east coast manager after moving back to New York.
Ice-T decided that he wanted to release a documentary on the art form of hip-hop, showing the inspiration behind hip-hop. Bentson used his connections he made throughout his career representing Fat Joe, Big Pun and The Product G&B and put together interviews to help viewers learn more about The Art of Rap. After the documentary was released, Bentson and Ice-T formed the idea of ‘The Art of Rap’ tour, bringing classic, hip-hop artists.
“We’re bringing the culture of hip-hop to the people,” said Bentson.
Bentson also states that the Art of Rap is designed to educate the audience on hip-hop, the culture and bring out legendary rap artists.
“ A kid that comes out to see the Art of Rap will understand that wow, that’s just the origin of hip-hop, said Bentson.
This is the Art of Rap’s fourth year going and it’s had a successful run, having a total of twenty shows. Bentson and Ice-T’s is to continue giving rap artists a platform and educating those coming out to their shows. The prices for the tickets vary but, will start at $35 which is super reasonable.
Besides the concert series, Bentson and Ice-T has also provided an opportunity for rising artists to perform at their art of rap showcase. The winter of the showcase(s) will have a chance to open up at an art of rap show in their market and also get a digital distribution deal through Pay Up Records.