Up and coming artists invited to live performance celebrating the late rapper DMX’s Birthday with top 5 performing for celebrity judges  

YONKERS, NY (December, 2021) – The top 10 finalists in the Yonkers Hip Hop History Month contest have been announced in advance of live performances scheduled for December 18 in celebration of the late rapper Earl “DMX” Simmons’ Birthday.

The lucky winners will be invited to a live performance at 10 Brook Street (School Street Gym) in Yonkers from 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18. The top five winners will be announced that evening and get to perform their songs for a panel of celebrity judges. Hundreds are expected to attend the live “throw down’’ including members of DMX’s family.

Yonkers has a rich history of great musical artists. DMX, The Lox, and Mary J. Blige all hail from Yonkers.  DMX and Mary J. Blige grew up in Yonkers’ public housing. New York State has declared December 18 DMX Day in honor of the late rapper.

Wilson Kimball, President and CEO of the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers (MHACY), became fascinated by the role public housing played in the development of Hip Hop stars after MHACY and Def Jam Recordings unveiled a memorial mural to DMX, who died in April and lived at 80 School Street in Yonkers. He also developed many of his famous rhymes while visiting his friend DJ Superior at MHACY’s Mulford Gardens.

Kimball assembled some notables with Hip Hop cred to serve as a panel of judges including local DJ Superior and members of Sporty Thievz.

“I was not a fan of hip hop growing up, but I came to appreciate Hip Hop after DMX passed away earlier this year,’’ said Kimball. “First, I realized he was around my age.  Then, I realized he grew up in MHACY housing.  Lastly, I realized his music came from a dark, real, and honest place.  I may not have had the same challenging childhood in the same place, but I understood what he was going through because his lyrics are so compelling.’’

Mayor Mike Spano said that the contest would not only help to showcase new artists but would spotlight Yonkers as a city that has gone through an amazing transformation, especially in regards to the quality of its affordable and public housing.

“We have some incredible talent and creative energy here in the City of Yonkers,’’ said Spano. “This contest will not only help young artists, but is a great way to put a spotlight on the good things that are going on here in our city.’’

The first-place winner will receive a $500 gift card from MHACY and Def Jam and will be featured on the DMX social media feed.  Runner ups will receive a $100 prize.

The winners will also get to perform their work at a live event on December 18 at the School Street gym with some surprise guest artists.

The top 10 winners and their videos are as follows:

  1. Check The Stats by MellzS & Jakk Blakkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ul7iVsStt8
  2. Thank U Lord by Paul Speight – https://youtu.be/05SnWlel-Ck
  3. Hard As Hell by Big Dev the Bad Guy https://vimeo.com/496282250
  4. Dog Love by CrookedSmile Coli – https://youtu.be/AXJXBAJOHGg
  5. Wakewalking by Swing Furr – https://youtu.be/ayfEDNkObqk
  6. Battle Lion by Crittermake & TDIMuzik – https://youtu.be/0SkvmVv-ZMo
  7. So Yonkers by CASH B, LadySlim, JaeWon & Keem – https://youtu.be/YtG42hwSs6w
  8. Yonkers Down To Ride by Dq The Don & Diaa – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1uPQ7JUjQY
  9. Henny by Franziole B Buttons & CJP – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gb08-l9Rjr0&ab_channel=OfficialBButtonsVEVO
  10. 2020 Experiment by Jae Nom, CJP, ODEJ & Renz Beatz – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrgRIpWZI_4&ab_channel=JaeNomVEVO