Mark “ShaH” Evans eats, sleeps and breathes Hip-Hop.

“Hip-Hop is my life, man. I can talk Hip-Hop and the music business for days,” Evans says.

Evans will be letting you know everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Hip-Hop over the lunch hour today at Summer in YOUR City: History of Hip Hop. The event will be hosted by Downtown Madison in downtown Madison at 100 N. Carroll St.

“Right next to Ian’s Pizza, right by the Capitol Square,” Evans tells Madison365. “It works out well for people who are on their lunch hour; they can grab a slice of pizza or whatever they are eating and enjoy this while they have lunch.”

Part of the free summer event series, Madison’s Central Business Improvement District (BID) is partnering with Evans, the founder and vice president of Urban Community Arts Network (UCAN), and platinum-selling producer DJ PAIN 1 who will be spinning records as the duo takes Madison on a musical journey through the history of Hip Hop.

“For an hour, you learn about Hip-Hop, you get to dance and have fun. Enjoy life. That’s what this is about,” Evans says.

Summer in YOUR City is presented by Madison’s Central BID in partnership with the City of Madison, 16 area community organizations, more than 50 artists and over 200 downtown businesses.

“We did this two years ago and it worked out great. I can’t believe all of the people who turned up on their lunch hour to check out the history of Hip-Hop,” Evans says. “This event will be kicking of UCAN’s summer concert series, as well.”

Mark "ShaH" Evans
Mark “ShaH” Evans

The History of Hip Hop will be Hip-Hop head Evans breaking down the key players, groups, events, and elements of decades of Hip Hop as much as he can in one hour.

“Of course, I could really take 5 hours to break Hip-Hop down,” Evans laughs, “or longer.”

Evans will describe the progression and transformation of Hip-Hop over the past few decades, taking you from old school to new. DJ Pain 1 will spin all the hits on this walk through time.

“I’m talking about the evolution of Hip-Hop, the deejay, the B-Boy and B-Girl, the emcee, and graffiti,” Evans says. “We start at [DJ] Kool Herc, he was one of the first deejays to really start scratching and mixing the way you see deejays do now. We start at Grandmaster Flash and go all the way up to Drake and Lil Yachty now … and everything in between.

“Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were really the first ones to talk about what we’re going on in their community,” Evans continues. “NWA. Def Jam. Biggie and Pac. Southern hip-hop with the ghetto boys and Outkast. The list goes on. This is meant to be educational but also a lot of fun. I talk, and Pain 1 plays the records.”

Evans is the owner of music blog, Get Your Buzz Up, and ME Management and Consulting. He also speaks about positive life choices with youth and young adults in Madison and surrounding areas.

“It’s cool because we usually have a pretty diverse demographic for this event,” he says. “Young and old … people from different backgrounds.”

Evans always like to ask the young kids he works with and at events if they’ve ever heard of The Sugar Hill Gang?

“No” is almost always the answer.

Have they ever heard of “Rapper’s Delight”?

“No” is almost always the answer.

“Then I tell them that we’re going to play a cut and if they’ve heard it, they have to get up and dance,” Evans smiles. “And then we play it – hip, hop, the hippie, the hippie, to the hip hip-hop, and you don’t stop the rock it to the bang-bang – And they’ve all heard it – in a movie or somewhere. They all have to get up and start dancing.”

But the “History of Hip-Hop” is not just for young people.

“Two years ago we had a 50-year-old guy breakdancing at the event,” Evans says. “Doing some pop-locking. It was insane.”

Evans partner in crime for this event is DJ Pain 1, a platinum-certified professional Hip-Hop producer, DJ, and certified secondary educator who has produced records for artists such as Ludacris, Public Enemy, The Game, and Jadakiss. DJ Pain 1 recently completed the Teaching Artist Training program through Overture Center for the Arts in partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

DJ Pain 1
DJ Pain 1

“Pain and I have been working together for like forever and we know how to feed off each other,” he says. “We work off each other well.”

Evans encourages Madisonians to come downtown today for lunch to check out the one-of-a-kind event.

“It’s like going down memory lane if you are a Hip-Hop head. You get to learn some history about your favorite groups but you get to learn things about the groups that you never knew about,” Evans says. “Really, you just get to listen to dope music. Hip-hop is the number-one genre of music today. There’s nowhere you can go and there’s no channel that you can turn on where you won’t eventually hit hip-hop.

“To go back and see what started it, what influenced it, what it influenced and how important and powerful that Hip-Hop has become … that’s something special,” he adds.

Written by David Dahmer

David Dahmer

A. David Dahmer is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Madison365.