August 10, 2023, The Knockdown Center, Queens New York.— Sirius XM, the broadcasting company that provides satellite and online radio services; along with Pandora, their subscription-based music streaming service; Presents, “For The Love: 50 Years of Hip-Hop” Featuring Wu-Tang with Martell Cognac at The Knockdown Center in Queens, New York.
On August 10th, 2023 the Knockdown Center along with Sirius XM,
Pandora, Martell Cognac and additional brand sponsors: Clorox, Volkswagen and Cricket Wireless shut down Queens, New York in killah-bee fashion. The loyal fans of the famed Hip Hop group, WuTang, wrapped the sidewalks of the popular venue in hopes to make entry through the waitlist. The group has influenced more than 30 years of the genre and continues to solidify the permanence of their impact and their brand through merchandising, music and much more.
Prior to the evening portion of the event, Sirius XM and Pandora hosted the “For The Love: A Community Giveback” event for the kids and teens that included a concert, a “back to school” backpack giveaway and an opportunity to celebrate and support the performance culture of the emerging local talents in the area; in the same vein early Hip Hop artists emerged in the community. Sirius XM and Pandora also gifted a $20,000 check to The Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens.
Later that evening, the doors re-opened at 8:00 pm with the general admission of an audience of 21+ only guests. Martell Cognac, the leading international prestige cognac, with 300 years of history in its existence, tipped its glass to the tenacity that is the genre of Hip-Hop. Martell Cognac, known for using a high percentage of eaux-de-vie (a traditional double distillation process), aromatic blends, distinct taste and richness in flavor, served their beverages at an open bar in the Premiere seating section for their VIP clients and that of Sirius XM and Pandora; which included brand influencers, designers, media press and Sirius XM’s popular radio show host, Marisol “El Bombon”, of Sirius XM channel, Caliente; a red-hot sonic blend of salsa, bachata, reggaeton and tropical Latin music.
Upon entry into the venue, a Volkswagen car sweepstakes is posted in royale fashion and immediately ahead of it, a hip-hop themed ‘step-and-repeat’ booth, reminiscent of an urban city building, brought to the venue by Clorox®. The step-and-repeat consisted of 2, 10-second-long video segments, shot by a live cameraman; props that included 4-Subwoofer and 2-Tweeter Speakers and costume jewelry, mimicking the late 80’s to early 90’s fashion. The “Faux 20 mm Cuban Link” Chains paid homage to an essential iconic accessory of the Hip Hop, Rapper fashion movement. Synonymous with the culture, Venetian (shutter) shades, huge diamond encrusted square signet rings and at last, a microphone. Guests had the opportunity to record a clip, in front of a backdrop that mimicked a brick wall with graffiti and the Clorox® emblem on the backdrop. The recorded clips were uploaded to a digital processing bank and participants were able to have the clips sent directly to their phones with a live link for download and share. Clorox®, the long-standing trusted brand has solidified itself with the “ultra fresh” culture, who prides themselves in a “crisp white tee” and “clean kicks”. Its trusted brands, which also include Brita®, Burt’s Bees®, Glad®, Kingsford® (for the summer barbecues), and Pine-Sol® have been trusted household names for every hip hop generation.
The Wu-Tang show opened with a giveaway of high-end fashion brand name sneakers and was followed up with a set, by emerging Brooklyn Artist, Lola Brooke, who performed her hit single, “Don’t Play With It”. Brooke gained notoriety after the release of her breakout single “Don’t Play with It” in 2021 that gained momentum on (formerly) Twitter and TikTok, opening doors for the artist to sign to Arista Records in 2023. Additional guest appearances included American journalist, radio personality, executive producer and former rapper, Sway Calloway. Sway now hosts “Sway in the Morning” on SiriusXM, “Shade45”. Also in the building, American Rapper and the original Hypeman, Flavor Flav of Public Enemy. The Wu-Tang clan took to the stage with a venue packed wall to wall of screaming fans throwing up the “WU” as they performed their classic hits, “C.R.E.A.M”, “Protect Ya Neck” and a crowd favorite, “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing to F’ With”. The performances, which included a solo performance from Method Man, rocked on into the late hours of the night until the close of the venue at dawn.
To ensure the safety and encourage responsible consumption of their Cognac, Martell offered complimentary designated travel via Uber to its VIP Premiere guests who also enjoyed the luxury of exclusive views of the band’s live performances on stage.
Stay tuned to The Knockturnal as we continue to bring you more exclusive stories on the 50 Year Celebration of Hip Hop!