The 2021 Soul Train Awards closed out with a banging performance by Silk Sonic marking yet another successful year of celebrating the greatest and brightest in the R&B and soul
However, the party wasn’t over just yet. Immediately following the ceremony, DJ Cassidy returned with over a dozen of his legendary musical friends for a special Soul Train edition of DJ Cassidy’s Pass the Mic series that highlighted the dancemusic of the late 70s and 80s.
The awards ceremony also commemorated the 50th anniversary of Soul Train by returning to the world-famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York, so it was only right that DJ Cassidy had some of New York‘s most legendary figures in the music industry including Kurtis Blow, Fab Five Freddy, and more for a night of classic records, singing, and tons of nostalgia. In case you missed it, here are 5 artists from New York that represented their home state during DJ Cassidy’s Pass the Mic.
Melle Mel “The Message”
Rap music has always been known for addressing social issues going in the world. Pioneer rapper Melle Mel of the iconic Furious Five joined DJ Cassidy as the duo recited the words to “The Message,” a catchy 80s tune and one of the first rap songs to provide social commentary; the single was reportedly in response to the 1980 New York City transit strike.
Kurtis Blow “The Breaks”
Kurtis Blow was one of the first rap acts to appear on the Soul Train, during which he performed his 80s classic hit “The Breaks.” The legendary emcee brought back the hot track one more time for DJ Cassidy’s Pass the Mic.
Stephanie Mills “Never Knew Love Like This Before”
Brooklyn native Stephanie Mills started the night off with a DJ Cassidy-assisted performance of her 80s smash single “Never Knew Love Like This Before.” The song is one of Mills’ biggest records to date that also won her two Grammy awards for “Best R&B Song” and “Best Female R&B Vocal Performance” at the 1981 ceremony.
Debbie Harry of Blondie and Fab 5 Freddy reunite for “Rapture”
Debbie Harry of Blondie and Fab 5 Freddy had the scene on lock during the late 70s and 80s and the pair delivered a very New York performance of Blondie’s No.1 hit single and the first song with a rap verse to do so, “Rapture.”