Panelists Big Business, artist Bezel, guest Mike Green and photographer Horizon participate in an August 23 discussion on the impact of hip hop during a recent event at Mosque No. 47 in Tampa, Fla. Photos: Facebook

By Student Minister Chad Muhammad

TAMPA, Fla.—With the 50-year anniversary of hip hop being celebrated around the world, Muhammad Mosque No. 47, in Tampa, Florida, inspired by the Ministry of Arts and Culture, held a high-level conversational event in honor of the global music genre.

The night started with a unity prayer. Student Minister Chad Muhammad explained the purpose of the Ministry of Arts and Culture and shared a brief history of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam’s involvement and influence in hip hop culture. As he recited the history and acknowledged notable conscious rappers and rap groups, guests in the audience started chiming in to add to the discussion. 

This high-level conversation was delivered within three circles conducted by panelists ranging from artists to DJs and producers alongside music executives and radio personalities. Each circle was facilitated by a member of the Nation of Islam. Brother Vendell Nasir facilitated the circle of artists, which included Tampa’s own R&B sensation C-Rena, who spoke about the female perspective and image in music listing. C-Rena talked about positive influences to listen to such as Queen Latifah, Rapsody, Dynasty and others.


Rappers Chang and FunkGhost and film director Mico White were also part of that circle. They spoke about the state of hip hop and how the messages are getting worse, and they expressed the need for improvement. Another circle was facilitated by Brother Idris Muhammad and included DJ Royce who specializes in event management and marketing.

Muhammad Mosque No. 47 held a 50th anniversary of hip hop event themed, “A High-Level Conversation” on August 23

DJ Royce, enlightened guests on the business side of the music industry. Also in the circle was radio personality Tony “Tone Kapone” from Waves of The Bay podcast and WMNF 88.5 FM. He was very thankful for the opportunity to share his knowledge of the business.

Keith Richardson of Rich Entertainment manages artists and producers. “It was a great event, and the conversations were very important and much needed for upcoming artists to hear,” he said. In the third circle was DJ Handz, an upscale event DJ; DJ Silent Rage from WMNF 88.5 FM, and Keshem Sadiq, who is also a DJ and producer.

Sister LaTraysha Muhammad, Sister Angela Muhammad and guests listen to presentations

They offered great advice to local rap artist SK8.RANK on being different and how to promote his music. They also shared how times have changed technologically and how the DJ sets the tone and energy of the music being played.

Also in attendance was Keith Waters, who manages and develops artists. His brother, the late “Kenny K” was such a huge influence in the hip hop community of Tampa and abroad. Kenny K was known for his work with the legendary group Digital Underground and helped many artists and DJs get their first radio break.

Kenny K was remembered for his history with Mosque No. 47 when he invited then Student Minister James Muhammad to teach on the airwaves during his radio show. Big Business/Clear Vision and Barak Amen of Father Figures Mentorship were present, as well as radio personality Concept, multi-talented artist Bezel and rap lyricist Mic Deluxx. It was a standing-room-only audience.

Claude “Paradise” Gray from the legendary group X-Clan attended via Zoom alongside Blakk Steel, who is co-owner of Digital Analog radio. At the end of the night after gifting guests with a copy of The Final Call newspaper’s “Hip Hop at 50” edition, attendees had only one question to ask, “When is the next one?” The show of unity and support was great. The spirit was high because of the high-level conversation.

—Story and photos submitted by Student Minister Chad Muhammad, Mosque No. 47