The 305's musical tastes are just as diverse as the masses who live here.
We're a bunch of EDM beat freaks, salsa fanatics, Rasta lovers, hip-hop heads, hardcore punks, and indie obsessives. But we can all agree that music brings people together.
This holds especially true for Afrika Bambaataa's Zulu Nation, an international hip-hop movement that began back in the day as an alternative to the rise of gangs. Bambaataa and his followers aim to keep kids off the streets and invite them to enter the world of the arts.
"We do different events where the [kids] can express themselves through dance and the arts, using the four elements of hip-hop [DJing, MCing, breakdancing, and graffiti art] and giving the youth, and those that choose to come, knowledge of self, of history, and self-empowerment," says Omar Iz, the founder of the Miami Chapter of the Universal Zulu Nation.
Although Zulu Nation has been around for nearly 40 years, the Miami Chapter is turning 20 this year. And in celebration of its two decades of existence, UZN is throwing a megabash at PAX, where the Godfather of Hip-Hop himself, Afrika Bambaataa, will be making the "Planet Rock."
But Bam won't be the only one "Looking for the Perfect Beat." Other DJs, MCs, former Zulu members, and b-boys, like Rubox, Lego, DJs Klassik, Heron, Immortal, and Tom Laroc, to name a few, will be hyping up the crowd.
The music and artists may be all the talk, but the real party here is Zulu.
"[We're trying to] raise funds to organize and better assist the community," Iz explains. "This has been a labor of love on all parts. We're simply trying to raise funds to continue to exist and help the youth and reach out on an international level.
"Zulu Nation came here, and the mission was to bring peace and unity, and to educate and pass knowledge on from one to the next, and I think that we've accomplished it.
"Our mission has been ongoing and it's gonna continue. We still serve a function and will still be here, representing the four elements of hip-hop and peace, love, and unity."
Universal Zulu Nation Miami Chapter 20th Anniversary Party and Fundraiser. Hosted by Jaqui Toma and Oski Gonzalez. Music by Afrika Bambaataa, Rubox, Lego, DJs Klassik, Heron, Immortal, Tom Laroc, and others. Saturday, June 15. PAX, 337 SW Eighth St., Miami. The show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets cost $15 plus fees via ticketfly.com. Call 305-640-5847 or visit paxmiami.com.
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