You rarely find good live concert for $5, especially away from the city, and you almost never have the opportunity to see a hip hop show in Plainfield. This week, you’ll have both, and it’s for a good cause that benefits our young people.
Plainfield hip hop and reggae duo Negros Americanos will headline their “For the Field” benefit show this Thursday, 8pm at Hugo’s Lounge, located at 226 East Front Street. Other performers include Newark-based hip hop artist J-Read, reggae artist Zilla from Jersey City, and soul and folk singer Danielle Watson of Harlem. The event will be hosted by comedian and poet Angel Crews, and DJ Ari Why will work the 1s and 2s. You can find the flier at the bottom of this article (over 21 a must).
As I’ve written before, the music is great, and unlike so much rap out there nowadays, it’s relatable, speaks truth to power, and still often maintains a sense of humor. Let’s call it Dave Chapelle with a flow, Paul Mooney over a beat. Attendees will learn why Negros Americanos’ crowds, whether hip hop fans or not, end up singing their songs on the way out the door.
Admission is only a $5 donation, and anything more than that is, of course, greatly appreciated. All proceeds will go to the Emagin Book Scholarship for graduating seniors at Plainfield High School, which is one of the Clearinghouse Scholarships at PHS. The more that is raised, the more students will benefit.
For the political crowd – yes, there is a Muhlenberg meeting at Clinton School the same evening, starting at 7pm. I will attend this important meeting for its first hour before going to enjoy and cover this concert. For those who plan to stay at Clinton School after 8pm but would still like to contribute, feel free to give me your cash donation of any amount before I leave. It would go right into the scholarship bin.
I’d tell you more about the scholarship, its creation, and how young people can apply, but you’d be better off hearing it from the scholarship’s creator, MC Enigma:
In 2006 I established a scholarship called the Lyle Hickman Book Scholarship. I used my government name because I’d graduated 2 years before and I wanted to show my fellow peers that you could be a single person and make a scholarship. You didn’t have to have a giant fraternity behind you or organization of old well-to-do folks from Sleepy Hollow. I hadn’t been voted as “did the most for PHS” or “most successful” and I didn’t have the best grades or graduate with honors, but I was 19 years old wanted to give back.
Recipients of the scholarship have graduated from Plainfield High School and gone on to Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, Howard University in Washington DC, University of Miami in Miami, Florida and many other places to name a few. Prior to this For the Field Show, I’d come out of pocket annually to support the dreams of a young scholar or two from Plainfield. I look at it just as giving money to church or to any organization, but I’m handpicking the recipient and reviewing them as well. I believe its a way to keep my finger on the pulse of the youth and the city of Plainfield.
Now that Negros Americanos is established and a force, I want to use it to promote this cause and to garner attention and support for the emagin book scholarship. I changed the name from my name to the name of my first album, emagin. My name as an emcee is mc enigma. If you rearrange enigma, you get emagin. Although it isn’t grammatically correct, the purpose of the spelling is to show people that if you work with what you’re given (i.e. the name enigma), and play your cards right you can do anything and tap into your infinite well and emagin. I used to also sell my first album to raise money for the award, but I believe having a benefit show is a better way to galvanize support.
The scholarship’s criteria is very simple.
As an alumnus of Plainfield High School and recipient of several scholarships from the 2004 Clearinghouse Scholarship, I, Lyle Hickman, believe starting a scholarship at Plainfield High School is an effective way to give back not only to my alma mater but to the brilliant and gifted students that make Plainfield High School. As a former college student, I understand that the cost of books for college courses can be rather expensive, and this award shall help a graduating senior finance their books for their college education.
All applicants must:
- Be a graduating senior of Plainfield High School
- Be attending a post-secondary school September 2014
- Write a 250 word essay on how and why going to college will help out your community
The amount of the award is TBA (to be announced)