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Visual Art Oct 31 2016 Written by

Mission: Art Of Rap Festival

(Republished from ‘THIS MIGHT NOT WORK’ The Art Adventures and Endeavors of Andrew J. Katz)

Ice T AJ katz

6 in the mornin’ police at my door /
Fresh Adidas squeak across the bathroom floor –  Ice T  – 6’N the Mornin’

This past summer, I decided to generate a list of all of the musical events I wanted to attend. I circled a few all-important dates on the calendar, and I set to work. I didn’t want to show up empty-handed, and I wanted to take full advantage of the opportunities coming my way.

July 29th loomed large, as this was the day the Art of Rap Festival was coming to the east coast. The line-up had my head spinning, and included Public Enemy, Ice T, EPMD, Sugar Hill Gang, Melle Mel and Scorpio, Naughty by Nature, Mobb Deep, Smiff and Wesson, and Kurtis Blow. I had plenty of lead time, and crafted a list of new artwork that I intended to bring along.

My meeting goals included EPMD (Parish Smith and Erick Sermon), Chuck D, and my first chance to meet Ice T. I carefully rendered each new piece, and gathered up my Glen E. Friedman tome – My Rules. I was more than ready with my Madina Design Golden Era poster, the new cardboard compositions, and a quiver of Sharpie markers. I just needed to get up to the Ford Amphitheater in Coney Island, NY. My path was clear, and the weather was perfect.


About a three hour drive from home, Coney Island is a destination that I’ve passed about a hundred times, but I’ve never made time to visit. Seeing the defunct and iconic Parachute Jump structure from a distance always seemed to evoke strong memories from my parent’s past. I was overcome with a mysterious nostalgia as I approached this storied destination. As usual, I was unnecessarily early for the show, so I decided to take in the requisite tourist traps – Nathan’s Hot Dogs, The Boardwalk, and Key Bank Park. As the son of a Brooklynite and a Brooklyn Dodger fan, I was grateful to see the Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese sculpture that graces the entry to the ballpark. I felt that it was a sign that I was in the right place at the right time.


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