Hip Hop Heavyweights Collab With American Wheelman Racing
for a Block Party, Celebrating 50 Years of Hip Hop
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — It’s going down! Saturday, August 12, 2023! At the birthplace of hip hop, the biggest Hip Hop 50 block party ever is happening from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at 1520 Sedgewick Blvd. in the Bronx, New York City. To kick off the launch of its racing season, American Wheelman Racing is hosting a free concert, called the “Hip Hop 50 Block Party Festival, Powered by American Wheelman,” featuring some of the biggest names in hip hop to celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip hop music. The all-star lineup includes KRS-One of Boogie Down Productions; Chuck D of Public Enemy; Wise Intelligent of Poor Righteous Teachers; Talib Kweli of Black Star; Hakim Green of Channel Live, Large Professor; along with Grand Master Caz, EPMD, Kurtis Blow and many other hip hop heavyweights as well as fan favorite emcees and DJs, including Grand Master Flash and DJ Kid Capri. In addition to live performances, festival goers can expect to see the culture on full blast with b-boys, b-girls, beat boxers graffiti artists and muralists. The event is free and open to the public.
For this block party, powered by American Wheelman, an endurance sports car racing team, the culture of hip hop merges with the machine and the music. After all, it’s very common to hear the thump of hip hop music, blasting through the speakers of cars, cruising on the roads and highways of America. The racing car of choice for American Wheelman – that is, a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport – will be on display, spinning on a pedestal, while iconic DJs spin a mix of old and new school hip hop music. Also, world-renowned graffiti artists of the Tats Cru, known for their artwork with various artists like Nicki Minaj, Missy Elliot, Jennifer Lopez, Rick Ross, Nas and Fat Joe – just to name a few – will be spray painting the race car “to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat” to borrow a lyric from Sugar Hill Gang’s hit song, “Rapper’s Delight.”
Founded by Mike Hall, American Wheelman is one of the few independently black-owned racing teams in motorsports, and the only black-owned team in the history of the International Motorsports Sports Association (IMSA), which is owned by NASCAR. “I grew up loving hip hop music and fast cars,” said Hall. “As an owner of a Black race car team, I’m excited to bring my two passions together, and recognized a genre of music that has revolutionized not only the music industry; but has made a tremendous impact on the culture, globally.”
“I can still remember the first time I heard KRS-One on ‘Step Into a World’ and ‘You Must Learn.’ Those songs represented Black culture, opened our minds and moved us forward,” said Stanley E. Washington, chairman of American Wheelman. “American Wheelman represents a major step forward in motorsports, and we want to bring our culture to global endurance sports car racing — taking it from racing on the streets to racing on world-class motorsports tracks.”
American Wheelman Racing will kick off its season with the IMSA Battle on the Bricks on September 15 – 16, 2023 in Indianapolis at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, followed by Motul Petit Le Mans in Atlanta on October 11-14, 2023 at the Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. The race team is sponsored by MeWe, Classic Car Club of Manhattan and Epic HBCU Collective.
“Building this race team from scratch has been the hardest , yet most rewarding thing I’ve ever done! And we’ve done this the hardest way possible. Through community,” stated Hall. “And that’s exactly why I know we’re going to have success on the track and be sustainable. American Wheelman is about being your unapologetic self. We can’t and won’t do it any other way.”
American Wheelman has a long and winning partnership with Roush Performance, one of the most successful teams in NASCAR history. Hall spent seven years with Roush Performance, managing the Roush Mustang GT4 program with Jack Roush Jr. before deciding to helm a team of his own. American Wheelman’s Porsche GT4 race car is nicknamed “The Hard Way!”
The “Hip Hop 50 Block Party Festival, Powered by American Wheelman,” is part of New York City Mayor Eric Adams partnership with “ITSALLBLACKMUSIC PRESENTS,” the brainchild of the “5×5 Block Party Series,” celebrating five decades of hip hop music in New York City’s five boroughs. As the birthplace of hip hop, New York City will also celebrate and honor the genre’s musical and cultural transformation over the past 50 years through various citywide initiatives.
ABOUT MIKE HALL, founder of American Wheelman
A veteran of the United States Marines, Mike Hall is a seasoned motorsports team development leader with more than 15 years of experience in the racing industry as a team manager and executive. He is the founder of American Wheelman, one of the few independently black-owned racing teams in motorsports and the only black-owned team in the history of the International Motorsports Sports Association (IMSA). Hall credits his love affair with fast cars and racing to a 1961 MGA Deluxe car, owned by his father as a kid. Plus, a chance meeting and subsequent mentorship with Oscar-winning actor and racing enthusiast Paul Newman cemented Hall’s career choice in motorsports. With a track record of working with the best in motorsports, under Hall, American Wheelman is sure to be a frontrunner on the track with its race car – a Porsche GT4, called “The Hard Way” — while adding a bit of soul and flavor to IMSA.
ABOUT STANLEY E. WASHINGTON, chairman of American Wheelman
Stanley E. Washington is a business leader and entrepreneur who has been a member of the financial services community for more than 30 years. Currently, Washington is chairman of American Wheelman, and oversees all business operations and partnerships for the overall company. He also is co-founder, president and CEO for Coliseum Media LLC, a two-way live podcast technology company, based in Detroit, Michigan, and focused on motorsports commentary with a goal to build the biggest fan community and largest commerce marketplace within the motorsports industry.
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SOURCE American Wheelman