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Jadakiss will headline Hip-Hop Week MKE’s return

A man in a baseball cap holds a microphone to his mouth while performing on stage in a large arena with an LED ribbon board behind him that reads "50 years of hip-hop."
Jadakiss / Facebook
Jadakiss performing with The Lox at UBS Arena in New York earlier this year.

In just two years, Hip-Hop Week MKE attracted a roster of guests that quickly established it as a premier event in the city. Between the 2018 and 2019 installments, Megan Thee Stallion, RZA, Ghostface, Mystikal and the godfather of hip-hop himself, DJ Kool Herc, all made appearances.

After a pandemic-related hiatus that spanned three years, we found out back in February the event is on for 2023, running from Aug. 21-27. This week, organizers pulled back the curtain a little more by announcing the headline act for Hip Hop Week MKE’s return: Jadakiss.

“We celebrate hip-hop because it is more than just music; it is artistic expression, community connection and a force for social progress all in one,” Alderman Khalif J. Rainey, founder of Hip-Hop Week MKE, said in a release. “That’s why this year’s celebrations will include not only live music from talented artists, but also a variety of other events to help inform our community members about such vital topics as civil engagement, personal wellness, and financial success.

“I am incredibly excited to host the return of Hip-Hop Week MKE, especially on the occasion of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary. I am equally excited that we will have such a talented performer as Jadakiss performing during this year’s festivities, and I am confident that this year’s Hip-Hop Week will be the best one yet.”

Rainey’s comments seem to indicate the event will continue in much the same way as past installments, which included in-depth discussions with artists; documentary screenings; job fairs; and conversations around health, politics and finance.

Of course, music is at the heart of it all, with Jadakiss providing the first injection of excitement on that front courtesy of his Aug. 23 show at The Rave. A founding member of The Lox, he helped the group’s first two albums — 1998’s Money, Power & Respect and 2000’s We Are The Streets — reach the top five of the Billboard 200. Jadakiss also has five studio albums as a solo artist, including the chart-topping Kiss of Death in 2004 and, most recently, 2020’s Ignatius.

In the release, Rainey acknowledged Milwaukee rapper Sauce Money (aka Todd Gaither) for helping curate this year’s Hip-Hop Week MKE, which will reveal more shows and other programming in the weeks ahead. For now, you can pick up tickets to the Jadakiss concert online and at the The Rave/Eagles Club box office when they go on sale at 10 a.m. this Friday, July 7.