Sister cities are well-represented at music festival

Photo by Chris Sykes
East Orange and Orange’s own hip-hip ambassador Donnie Don, right, stands with fellow East Orange natives Mike Jones, center, and Tone Magic, left, on Sunday, July 28, during the last day of the three-day 14th annual Lincoln Park Music Festival in downtown Newark. The festival began on Friday, July 26, with a gospel music and rhythm and blues concert, continued on Saturday, July 27, with a house music concert and concluded on Sunday, July 28, with a hip-hop concert featuring legendary old-school rapper Slick Rick the Ruler.

NEWARK, NJ — The sister cities of Orange and East Orange were on the scene in Lincoln Park in downtown Newark on Sunday, July 28, for the third day of the 14th annual Lincoln Park Music Festival, courtesy of local hip-hop entrepreneur Donnie Don.

“We’re just chilling, trying to support the festival like we always do. It’s something to do. We try to support,” said Donnie Don on Sunday, July 28. “Back in the day, we used to say that ‘hip-hop would never die’ and it’s nice to see that we were right. Hip-hop is the biggest music in the world right now and it’s been that way for years and that’s a very good thing, because hip-hop has changed lives and hip-hop has saved lives and I’m down with that.”

Donnie Don was happy to be at the event with his friends, East Orange natives Mike Jones and Tone Magic, as they watched old-school rapper Slick Rick the Ruler and others perform.

“My name is Tone, coming straight from Illtown East Orange,” said Tone Magic, who was wearing a Naughty By Nature T-shirt, a world-famous band straight out of East Orange. “I’m just chilling enjoying the festivities. I think it’s pretty good. I love the local talent.”

Jones, not to be confused with the rapper Mike Jones from Houston, agreed.

“I’m the original Mike Jones,” said Jones on Sunday, July 28. “It’s a blessing to be here. I go way back with this hip-hop thing. I’m like 30 years in the game with this hip-hop. It’s good to see that it’s still going on. It’s all peace.”

“It’s lovely because you know Jersey, we always had a lot of talent,” Tone Magic added. “We just needed to combine ourselves together and just make it happen and stop being separate from everyone else, because we’re all one great family.”

Tone Magic also praised two local rap crews, the Rottin Razskals and Cruddy Click, which are based in East Orange and associated with fellow native Anthony “Treach” Criss from the Naughty By Nature rap group. He also mentioned the Outlawz rap group, proteges of deceased rapper Tupac Shakur, who was also a friend of Criss.

Donnie Don said the long list of outstanding musical artists and performers who hail from Orange and East Orange is proof the sister cities are an epicenter of talent in the Garden State.

“Jersey is in the house, period,” said Donnie Don. “That’s how it always was and that’s how it’s always going to continue being. You can’t talk about the history of hip-hop without talking about Jersey. We here and we always have been here and we always will be here. Peace.”