Opa-locka, FL– June 19, 2023 – As the world celebrates 50 years of the groundbreaking genre of hip hop, and in a continued celebration of Juneteenth and Black Music Month, Ten North Group, formerly the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC), has announced Heavy Beatz & Drops, a conversation about the dynamic relationship between the Caribbean and hip hop.

On Friday June 23rd, 2023, 7pm-10pm, Ten North Group presents an exciting panel of hip hop heads moderated by C. Isaiah Smalls II, Race & Culture Reporter for the Miami Herald, and featuring Papa Keith, On-air Radio Personality at 103.5 The BEAT, Marlon Hill business and entertainment attorney and partner at Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman,  and Miami New Times music and culture freelance reporter Shanae Hardy. The panel will be followed by a jam session and after party with renown D.J. Aya, spinning a mix of classic and contemporary Caribbean-influenced hip hop tracks as well as afro beats, dancehall and music’s new darling genre, Amapiano, a subgenre of house music emerging in South Africa.

For over 50 years, the rich cultural heritage of the Caribbean islands has played a pivotal role in shaping the sounds, rhythms, and lyrics of hip-hop music. From the early days of legendary block parties in the Bronx to the global phenomenon it is today, hip hop has consistently drawn inspiration and created a powerful sonic tapestry of urban beats from the Caribbean diaspora through genres such as reggae, soca, and calypso has and giving birth to subgenres like reggaeton, which has strong roots in South Florida.

“The Heavy Beatz & Drops panel discussion and jam session is not just a recognition of the past but also a celebration of the ongoing influence that the Caribbean continues to have on the genre, especially here in South Florida with the largest Caribbean population in the United States. By acknowledging and embracing this legacy, we honor the artists, pioneers, and cultural traditions that have shaped hip hop into a global phenomenon” commented James Nixon FACHE, Vice President of Programs, Strategy & External Affairs, Ten North Group.

The event is free and open to the public at the ARC, 675 Ali Baba Avenue, Opa-locka, FL 33054. For more information visit www.olcdc.org/juneteenth