Two of the greatest cultural exports the United States has given the world, hip hop and contemporary graffiti culture, came from the South Bronx. On August 11, 1973, at 1520 Sedgewick Avenue, DJ Kool Herc first looped and extended a beat and rapped over the top as people danced, so laying down one of the core foundations of hip hop as well as starting a global cultural phenomenon.
In a new project from BACARDI and Bronx native Swizz Beatz, the historic New York borough will play host to a huge invite-only art and music fair that aims to celebrate the community that has given the world so much.
Titled No Commission, it’s a project that offers a platform for emerging and established artists to showcase and sell their work for free, and take 100% of the profits from any work they sell home with them in the process. Under the direction of Bronx native and BACARDI’s new ‘global chief of culture’, Swizz Beatz, the New York chapter is supported by a fellow son of the Bronx, ASAP Rocky, as well as established street artists Swoon and Matsuyama. Held in a huge disused warehouse, the fair is one of those rare times where neighborhoods, artists both established and upcoming and, yes, brands, are coming together to achieve something that’s truly worthwhile.
“It’s important to celebrate it because a lot of the art and a lot of the music was discovered from where we’re from,” explains Swizz Beatz. “A lot of people take from that but there’s not a lot of people who give back.”
The No Commission project launched last December during Art Basel Miami Beach and generated over $1 million in profits that were then taken home directly by the artists involved. No commission, no gallery, no middle man.
If you’re in and around New York City and want, learn more about BACARDI and #NoCommission here.
In the meantime, watch ASAP Rocky, Swoon, Matsuyama and Swizz Beatz fire you up with the video, above.