It’s one thing to put the spotlight on Hip-Hop culture, but it’s another to properly give its pioneers their dues.
Nas, Steve Stoute, Andreessen Horowitz co-founder Ben Horowitz, and his wife, Felicia Horowitz, have joined forces to not only pay homage to Hip-Hop greats but also provide financial support. The group is behind the first-ever Hip Hop Grandmaster Awards, which is set to honor artists Rakim and Scarface, according to The Paid in Full Foundation’s website. Of the event’s proceeds, 100% will go to the foundation’s programs “to support hip hop greats and other creatives.”
“Over the past several decades, Hip Hop music and culture rose from a local niche New York art form into a global phenomenon,” The Paid in Full Foundation’s website stated. “In doing so, it has created countless careers, many fortunes, and, most importantly, gave hope and aspiration to a generation of young people.”
It continued, “Unfortunately, many of the most impactful original artists never received recognition proportional with their exceptional contributions to arts and culture. The Paid in Full Foundation aims to rectify that through its grantmaking program, by both honoring the people who built Hip Hop and enabling them to pursue their creative and intellectual pursuits for the benefit of society.”
During an interview with “Rap Radar Podcast,” Stoute revealed that the foundation will give $500,000 as well as health care to Hip-Hop “contributors who didn’t get what they deserved.” The executive also shared that he and the team are making the Hip Hop Grandmaster Awards an annual event.
“What I wanna do is, all of the artists who [came in] early who signed bad deals or were taken advantage of, that the least we could do is give to them,” Stoute said on the podcast. “Pay that forward and give to them.”
He added, “No one’s ever done this before. No one’s given the people who’ve helped move this industry forward reparations of some sort for what they’ve done but didn’t get back.”
Although it aligns with the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop, Stoute shared that the event was two years in the making as he worked with Horowitz, Nas, Fab 5 Freddy, and Quincy Jones III, and more. The sold-out Hip Hop Grandmaster Awards will take place Nov. 17 in Las Vegas, NV.