A Grammy-winning beat maker and popular TV actor are among those headlining this year’s crop of Bronx Walk of Fame inductees.
Hip Hop producer Swizz Beatz – who has laid down tracks with the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye West and Bono over his 14-year-career – will join NFL lineman Willie Colon and actors David Zayas, Rachel Ticotin and Priscilla Lopez on the list of famous Bronxites honored on the Grand Concourse, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced at a Bronx Week 2014 kickoff event Monday May 5.
“The Bronx is the flagship for music, creativity, geniuses, great people,” Beatz said at the announcement at the newly opened Gun Hill Brewery on Laconia Avenue. “I’m proud to be from here.”
A power packing crew
The five new inductees will soon join the group of nearly 100 Bronx natives – including Regis Philbin, Chazz Palminteri and Colin Powell – already honored with placards on the Grand Concourse.
“I can think of no better way to celebrate the best of our borough than by welcoming home these five individuals, who have made a major impact in their fields, back to where it all began, right here in the Bronx,” said Diaz.
Love for the borough came pouring out of the honorees.
Beatz, whose real name is Kasseem Dean, said his first experience with music came selling mixtapes as a package deal with haircuts at a barber shop on Boston Road where he worked after school.
Zayas, a former NYPD officer turned actor who starred in Showtime’s “Dexter” series, grew up in Hunt’s Point, moved to Soundview and now lives in Riverdale.
“Every country I’ve been, when they asked where I was from, I said the Bronx with pride,” said Zayas.
‘Fort Apache’ gal
The other honorees aren’t too shabby either.
Sports fans might know Colon, who spent his early years in a Melrose housing project and who now plays offensive lineman for the New York Jets, while fans of the 1981 movie “Fort Apache: The Bronx” might know Ticotin from her role as Paul Newman’s love interest, the Dominican nurse Isabella.
The announcement at Gun Hill Brewery kicked off a week of Bronx festivities, including a parade, art and music shows and a food festival. For a full schedule, check out ilovethebronx.com.
“Bronx week is not just for Bronxites,” said Diaz Jr. “Bronx Week is where we invite all New Yorkers, and people from the tri-state area. There are so many people who haven’t been to the Bronx in many years.”