For the first time ever, the New York City Department of Health, NYC Knows, Hot 97 and its partners, hosted one of the most talked about concerts in New York: The Bronx Knows Concert for HIV Awareness.
The message of "Stay Safe, Get Care, & Get Tested" was conveyed through a series of PSAs that appeared in the greater NYC area.
The NYC DOH offered free tickets to the concert at the Paradise Theater in Bronx, NY, in exchange for getting an HIV test on or before June 24th -- the headliner of the concert being none other than golden child Lloyd Banks, who, in this past year, has become one of the most prominent forces in hip-hop...so much so, in fact, that none other than the NY Times named Banks (real name: Christopher Lloyd) "the most important rapper" in New York City.
And Banks, of course, kept his steady, stealthy pace at this performance: blazing through a 30 minute set in a deluge of sweat, he ran the gamut from old ("On Fire" & "I'm So Fly," both from his debut album HUNGER FOR MORE) to new ("I Don't Deserve You" & "Start it Up," both from his recent offering, HUNGER FOR MORE 2).
Banks, however, is at his best when he lets his guard down -- when he eschews the groupie-chasing "Blue Hefner" persona in favor of his true person: a wise "G" who has taken the road less traveled (which, as Robert Frost would say, makes all the difference) & has a bit of life experience to impart to the masses.
Innately aware that the masses that were listening were impressionable & expectant, he encouraged the audience to stay in school & listen to their parents -- pointing out that he would have finished the former had he done the latter -- and to, above all else, follow their dreams. Banks' words of wisdom was a nice finish to a strong concert that imparted a positive message.
Other performances included Fred Da Godson, Oun-P, & several local area artists.
FOR EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT, VISIT www.bernadettegiacomazzo.com