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Hip-Hop Summit Draws Record Numbers

Russell Simmons, Doctor Benjamin Chavis and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network reported historic results in the aftermath of the Detroit Hip-Hop Summit on April 27. The largest Hip-Hop Summit ever drew over 17,000 participants in the Detroit Hip-Hop Summit's panel discussions at Cobo Arena, Poetry Slam at St. Andrews' Hall, Hip-Hop
Concert at the State Theater and the official Summit reception at the Detroit Historical Museum.

The Honorable Kwame Kilpatrick, Detroit's 32-year-old ("hip-hop") mayor, along with Grammy and Oscar Award winning Detroit native Eminem and Clear Channel's premier hip-hop radio station FM98 WJLB joined with the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network to co-host the Detroit Hip-Hop Summit during the Detroit branch of the NAACP's Freedom Weekend.

Some of the leading hip-hop icons, moguls and artists deliberated and committed to an action agenda on issues ranging from
voter registration, community economic development, supporting public education and expanding career opportunities in the recording industry. Joining Russell Simmons and Eminem for the Summit's panel discussions were Nas, Reverend Run, Doug E. Fresh, Noreaga, D12, the DOC, MC Serch, T3 of Slum Village, Cherub and Red Café, Play of Kid n' Play and Obie Trice. The Summit Concert, featured the Def Jam Vendetta Tour with Method Man and Redman, Noreaga, along with the first concert appearance by the DOC in 14 years, Cherub and Red Café, Slum Village and Shady Records' Obie Trice and D12.

Dr. Benjamin Chavis, president of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, announced the launch of the national voter registration and education program entitled, "Hip-Hop Team Vote." The goal of the program is to register 20 million new voters, four million per year over the next five years, primarily from the
18 to 30-year-old age group, throughout the United States. The official website where youth can join HSAN's "Hip-Hop Team Vote" and become an active Team member in the national registration and voter education project is

"We are making better citizens of youth through hip-hop and the Detroit Hip-Hop Summit, with the presence of hip-hop Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, exemplifies what we should now replicate in many other cities throughout the country," declared Russell Simmons.

Special presentations were made at the Summit by Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) and by former Congressman Walter Fauntroy (D-DC), who both encouraged the youth to transfer the strength of their cultural impact into political empowerment.

A highlight of the Detroit Hip-Hop Summit was the presentation of national awards to Nas and Eminem for outstanding contributions to youth empowerment. Nas was awarded the National Heroes Award for the powerful and positive impact of his hit song and video, "I Can." Eminem was given the National Outstanding Achievement Award for his charitable work and support of youth in Detroit and in other cities.

"What we saw at the Detroit Hip-Hop Summit was more than a glimpse of a new Detroit…what we really saw was a powerful image of a new America being transformed by the youthful action of the hip-hop community," added
Dr. Chavis.