March 8 7:00 PM - March 8 8:30 PM
Art of Hip-Hop — Women in Hip-Hop Panel
Center for Inclusion
Our 3rd event in the Art of Hip-Hop series will bring together Brooklyn MC MeLa Machinko, Christie Z from the DMC World DJ Championships and Tools of War park jams, and our own Nina Cruz from MVL Radio.
MeLa Machinko When Jay-Z rapped “been to many places, but I’m Brooklyn’s own” he was perfectly describing MeLa Machinko, who has traveled the world but is distinctly a daughter of the famed borough. Machinko is best known for her work with Pharoahe Monch; from songwriting to touring with the legendary emcee, she has honed her craft as a first class performer in the studio and onstage. She has also been featured with many notable artists such as Talib Kweli, Joe Budden, Denaun Porter, and Jean Grae. She was featured on the 9th Wonder album The Wonder Years with a song called Now I’m Being Cool which was also penned by Machinko. Stepping out on her own after years of backing legends, in 2013 Machinko released 2 projects. For the first, she returned to her Brooklyn roots and crafted an album using lyrics, cadences and quotes from the reigning king of hip-hop and Marcy Project’s prodigal son, Jay-Z. The project, entitled Hov Said It Best, is presented in the form of a game show where we are treated to a Hov-inspired This Is Your Life episode. Mela released the first look from the project, What You Want Me To Do (I’m Sorry), to critical underground acclaim. Her second offering, 9am Blues, is a superbly wrought look into the trials and tribulations of an independent artist. Her song Employment was a blog darling, and she was featured prominently on sites such as Essence.com and many more.
Nina Cruz is a senior with a major in music business, here at Manhattanville College. As a hip-hop enthusiast, she has worked with some of NYC’s most respectable hip-hop legends like Stretch and Bobbitto, Crazy Legs, The Rock Steady Crew, as well as NYC artists, performers, DJ’s and much more. She continues to pave the way towards her career goals by using her motivation, creativity, and voice that music has given her.
Christie Z is the specialist you go to when you want your DJ battle or hip-hop event done right. Her attention to detail, high standards, fairness, and insistence on authenticity has led her to consult on and/or coordinate many of the most important DJ Battles held in the U.S. since the late 90s including the 1998–2000 DMC U.S. Battles; the 1999 DMC World Finals (the first and only time ever in the U.S.A), The Allies All-Star Beatdown, Vinyl Kombat, King or Queen of the Beat Producer Battle (with Jazzy Jay), and the late Roc Raida's Gong DJ Battles. In 2008 she returned to DMC USA to coordinate the DMC American Battleground and run it's branch in the U.S.A. Most recently, she was commissioned by DJ A-Trak to be Battle Coordinator for the first ever Goldie Awards DJ & Beat Battle. As a publicist specializing in hip-hop culture, Christie Z's e-blasts get the word out, not only to the press, but they go one step further and reach stores and individuals, overstepping the media's role as tastemaker and gatekeeper of information. She only accepts commissions to publicize artists, books, albums, and services that Tools of War truly believes are quality and authentic. Christie's other passion is throwing true school hip-hop park jams in New York City parks. Since 2003, with Jorge Fabel Pabon, she's coordinated park jams in the Bronx (Crotona Park Jams), Queens (Turntablist Sessions) and Harlem (Digger’s Delight, Harlem Hop, Salsa Hop, Spanish Harlem Hop) Parks. All of the jams are free to the public and are intended to restore true hip-hop culture and the legends who kicked it off back to the NYC parks where they first rocked! Christie Z featured in the New York Times!