Boogie Down at the Bronx Zoo puts Bx culture on display

Boogie Down at the Bronx Zoo puts Bx culture on display|Boogie Down at the Bronx Zoo puts Bx culture on display
Grandmaster Melle Mel (left) and Grandmaster Caz.
Grandmaster Melle Mel, left, is set to relaunch his “Grandmaster Fitness” show on BronxNet public access television.

This spring you’ll be seeing and hearing more than just animals at the Bronx Zoo.

Hip-hop, breakdancing, graffiti art and much more is coming to the wild grounds from late April until early June.

Called ‘Boogie Down at the Bronx Zoo,’ this special event series is meant to capture the essence of the borough’s best over the years.

All powered by Windows of Hip Hop, the famed Bronx rappers Grand Master Melle Mel, Grandmaster Caz, got back in the studio to record a new track for the Boogie Down.

“Being that we’re from the Bronx and are classic hip hop artists, what we’re doing with the Bronx Zoo is a perfect match,” said Mel. “It’s all Bronx related,” he added.

“Our aim and what we try to accomplish is going into communities, encourage youth to use hip hop as a learning tool, which is the biggest vehicle on the planet for everything right now,” said Caz.

Titled ‘Animals and MCs,’ the hype track will surely be performed by the duo this weekend during the Boogie Down’s opening week.

Sugar Hill Gang will also pay a visit along with some world class rappers and DJs that will teach guests how to scratch on a turntable and much more.

“For more than 120 years, the Bronx has been the birthplace of culture that has changed history and created movements,” said a statement from the Bronx Zoo.

“From humble beginnings, the Bronx is the home of global legends and leaders that have had a profound influence on the world,” the statement continued.

The Boogie Down is more than music, though. Another major focus is Bronx artists and their work. Featuring famous artists such as Crash, Tats Cru and Andre Trenier. They’ll all be doing live, animal-themed graffiti demos in the zoo’s famed Astor Court.

Kingsbridge native Andre Trenier is best known for his murals around Yankee Stadium.

Trenier knows that it’s up to him and his fellow artists to preserve and advance their culture.

“I know it sounds corny, but it really is on us to keep everything going,” said Andre.

Also for the Boogie Down, the zoo had animals step in paint and then step on a canvas to ‘start a painting’ in which Andre and his colleagues have finished on behalf of the critters.

Andre worked on two paintings: one started by a sea lion and another by a flamingo.

“My favorite part of it all is when people see the finished product, I’m always focused on my latest and greatest,” he added.

Arthur Avenue also plays a scrumptious role in the Boogie Down as well.

Cuisine from ‘The Real Little Italy’ will have guests stampeding all across the Zoo grounds come June.

Arthur Avenue is also contributing doo wop performances reminiscent of the 1950s. Rock Steady is one of the doo wop acts.

The Boogie Down will certainly bring a fresh new beat to the Bronx Zoo this spring.

Artwork started by a flamingo and finished by Andre Trenier
Courtesy of Andre Trenier

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