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Plans begin for hip hop wall of fame in Lynn

LYNN — A board of directors consisting of music professionals and avid followers are planning to create a Hip Hop Wall of Fame in Lynn next spring. 

Board members Edwin Cabrera, Chris Martin (CRITTA), Justice Born, Joe Luna (Jay Moon) and Michael Aghahowa are creating the wall to “preserve the hip hop culture in the city and to recognize those who have contributed to the culture by honoring their efforts through a community driven voting and induction process.” 

The wall is still in the creative process, but the board recently received a grant from the Lynn Cultural Council for $6,200, which Cabrera said helped “immensely” in pushing this project forward.  

Aghahowa is the muralist in charge of creating the images and content that will be added each year. 

The board of directors said they hope this wall will engage the community with the world of hip-hop, planning to partner with the Latino Business Association and local businesses. 

Cabrera said they are still figuring out a location for the mural and are thinking of hosting it at a bodega or corner store, since those are both big symbols in the hip-hop world.

The wall will consist of 25 inductees who will be voted on by the Lynn hip hop community for the first induction ceremony, which the board hopes will occur during the spring of 2020. 

The first induction will also consist of five honorees, totaling 30 inductees in the first year, but will then include five new inductees to the Wall of Fame each year after that. 

The mural will include the top 10 rappers in Lynn, top five producers, and top five people, all voted on by the community and people who want to be involved as curators. They also plan to have a rap battle and feature the winner on the mural. 

To have a checks and balances system, Cabrera said they will set up a committee and a sub-committee to ensure that the votes are fair and that the process doesn’t turn into a popularity contest. 

“The voting is meant to spark conversations within the community about artists that represent Lynn hip hop,” the board said. “The goal being that these conversations will lead to more people recognizing the talent in their community by engaging each other in debate.” 

Cabrera said Lynn doesn’t have a recognition for the art that happens within the hip hop culture, saying there are a lot of talented hip hop artists in the city. 

“We want to put together an interactive mural between the artists and the community, and this is almost like a hip hop award,” Cabrera said. “This is something we want to do every year.” 

Cabrera said the board consists of talented artists that bring a variety of skills and experience to the table. 

CRITTA is a marketing, design, and creative director who co-founded Grind House Recordings, which is a media and record label. He has worked and consulted for many different creative projects in music, film, and government programs to tech companies and is a graduate of North Shore Community College and Salem State University. 

Born, formerly known as Red Mask, is the Founder of Wreck Shop Movement and has 17 years of experience building community, organizing ciphers, battles, showcases, festivals, block parties and panel discussions in various cities. 

Jay Moon is the owner and founder of KMF, a music record label established in Lynn. He is a full time music executive and artist who loves giving back and helping people achieve their true potential.

With the pandemic pushing this project back, the first official event relating to the wall will be at the Lynn Museum/Lynn Arts on June 25, where there will be visual artworks, spoken word and music performances from BIPOC artists from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Cabrera said he put together a line of local hip-hop artists to perform at this event, triggering the community engagement with the hip-hop world. 

This event is free to the public and Cabrera urges people to visit their website at lynnhiphop.com to learn more about the Hip Hop Wall of Fame. 

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