As Black History Month draws to a close, the 2022 NAACP Image Awards will cap a month celebrating Black contributions to society. After the ceremony on Saturday, February 26th, the celebrations will continue vigorously DJ Cassidy‘s reggae special edition of Pass the microphone after the 53rd NAACP Image Awards. The Special, DJ Cassidy’s Pass The Mic: BET Afterparty 2022,brings together reggae and dancehall icons and celebrates reggae’s influence on hip-hop and global culture.
DJ Cassidy sat down with HipHopVision to talk about the show, which will feature artists such as Shaggy, Maxi Priest, Super Cat, Barrington Levy, Ini Kamoze, Sister Nancy, Junior Reid, Patraand more.
The inspiration for the show came from his previous experience as a DJ, the overwhelming success of Pass the microphone and his passion for a variety of music genres.
He describes how the overwhelming emotional response at first Pass the microphone in July 2020 inspired him to keep going and he immediately began imagining future installments of the concept.
“Looking back, I now see that each vision was a derivative of my previous record cases, which I would take to every DJ gig around the world,” he explains. “Before technology changed the game, I loaded six to eight 100-pound steel crates, each containing about 100 pieces of vinyl, into every New York cab and plane. I’ve categorized each box by a music genre or era. Mine from the start Pass the microphone I dreamed of a reggae edition, a manifestation of that coveted reggae record box. As a hip-hop kid growing up in New York City, incorporating reggae into my DJ sets came naturally to me. Dancehall stars were also hip-hop stars.”
He explains that when he began designing this issue, he wanted to “represent these iconic dancehall records that played a special role in this box, in my repertoire and in my life in general”.
He also emphasizes how much he wanted to portray the different facets of reggae music, regardless of era, year or decade, stating that “each of the sixteen songs featured on this show not only holds a special place in my heart but holds a special place in the history of reggae music and its massive influence on hip-hop, R&B and popular music. Some dominated the hip-hop airwaves of radio stations like Hot 97 in the 1990s, while others topped the Billboard pop charts in the 1980s. Some merged with R&B and achieved massive commercial success, while others remain the most sampled songs of all time. Put simply, each of those records changed the game.”
While the show will definitely have many of the Pass the microphone Hallmark, Cassidy is also quick to note that viewers are in for a special treat with some of the differences this show promises.
“Sixteen iconic records are featured on this show, more records in one show than ever before,” he explains. “There were just so many definitive songs that I wanted to celebrate. This edition brings the blistering pace of Pass the microphone to new heights.
Cassidy has also partnered with some big industry names to make the upcoming show a success. Alongside superstar television producer Jesse Collins (who recently produced legendary hip-hop show Superbowl Halftime) and legendary music impresario Steve Rifkind (founder of Loud and SRC Records), Cassidy has worked with acclaimed Reggae-Renaissance woman Sharon Burke and her team together by Judth Bodley and Debrina Smith. “As a producer, promoter and manager, Sharon has directed countless iconic reggae moments over the decades. I knew that with her by my side, we would create something very special that would go down in music history,” says Cassidy.
As for the future, Cassidy has no plans to cut back on his Pass the microphone experience in the western hemisphere, especially since over the course of the first eight issues of pass the microphone,One of his signature catchphrases is “pass the mic anywhere in the world”.
“Through Pass the microphone , I’ve always tried to create global connections between artists and fans and build bridges between both genres and viewers. Never has that mission been better accomplished than in this sequel,” he says of the upcoming performance.
“Witnessing the massive global response to this Pass the microphone: volume one and Pass the mic: Band Two I was blown away by the international influence of classic hip-hop and R&B,” he says. “I’ve always strived for the series to connect people musically on an international scale, and no edition represents that mission more effectively than this upcoming special. In future as Pass the microphone both on TV and on stage and beyond, I hope to continue to expand this mission. As the cultural influence of Afrobeat and Reggaeton continues to explode, I’d like to pass the mic to the past, present and future icons who have shaped their global influence. During President Biden’s televised inauguration, I handed the mic to Ozuna and Luis Fonsi in front of 40 million viewers with two records that dominated the global music charts, “Taki Taki” and “Despacito.” The sky is the limit. I would also like to celebrate Brazilian music and pass the mic to one of my greatest musical heroes, Sergio Mendes.”
He concludes by saying that “at the end of the day, regardless of the category, genre or era of music, every episode ofPass the microphonecelebrates the greatest artists and greatest songs of all time by connecting these artists with their fans in a more intimate way than ever before.”