Mary J. Blige Image Credit: ShutterStock

Mary J. Blige Announces Return of ‘Strength of A Woman’ Festival

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Hip-hop legend Mary J. Blige recently announced the dates for this year’s “Strength Of A Woman Festival & Summit.”

Set to return for its sophomore year, the festival will be held in Atlanta from May 11 to May 14. Established by Blige along with the Vice President of MJB Inc., Nicole Jackson, and marketer of The Ayars Agency, Maven Ashaunna Ayars, the event’s creation, including production, was led entirely by women. With “Strength Of A Woman,” the main effort is to celebrate sectors of wellness, beauty tech, business and music that were shaped by the successes and impact of Black women. 

Throughout its four-day span, the festival has a variety of performers and events lined up. Music giants such as Blige herself, Lauryn Hill, Coco Jones, Lucky Daye, Summer Walker and more are scheduled to perform. A panel on equality and empowerment for women and a comedy night featuring Mike Epps are also expected as part of the “Strength Of A Woman” festival.

In a statement released on International Women’s Day, Blige showed her excitement for the event. 

“Having the opportunity to continue to uplift, inspire, and build amongst a community of women is the reason why we created this festival,” said Blige. “I’m so grateful for all of the support from our performers and participants and of course Live Nation Urban, Pepsi and our additional partners who are committed to celebrating and creating community for Black women.”

Performances by Jeezy, Busta Rhymes, Method Man, Jadakiss and more are also part of the festival as they’re planned to take the stage for a celebration of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary. 

On Aug. 11, 1973, a party in the Bronx became what’s now known as the event that gave “birth” to the genre.. In a recreation room on Sedgwick Ave, DJ Kool Herc, born Clive Campbell, and his sister, Cindy Campbell, held a block party as a back-to-school celebration. 

Now considered the “founding father of hip-hop,” Herc had been working on a technique called the “breakbeat,” an idea that would eventually set the groundwork for what’ll become hip-hop. 

Using two turntables, Herc would play the same record on each and switch between the two to lengthen the drum breaks in tracks. On Aug. 11, he debuted it in front of the largest crowd using the most powerful equipment he had used yet.

Drawing from the idea of “toasting” inspired by Jamaican DJs, Jamaican-born Herc also helped set the groundwork for rap by talking over his breakbeats.

In 50 years, hip-hop has become one of the most popular genres in music history, dominating the music industry and influencing other areas, such as the fashion world.

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