Legendary Hip Hop photographer and mentor Ernie Paniccioli has cancer and below is my personal testimony in hopes we can make a donation!
Imagine going through a tumultuous break up with 1 of the crews in NYC that has incredible potential to be the best. Imagine taking a 1 year hiatus from MCin and Producing and reevaluating life as a whole, as an artist and visionary. Imagine getting invited by 1 of the younger, upcoming and talented crews to perform at BBAS Thursday to implant yourself back in the music scene. Imagine coming face to face with eyes (and the camera) behind Hip Hop on that same night, prior to performing infront of a hot, very young, very packed room full of NYC's young minds, opinions and more.
BBAS Thursday was a few days before my job with The College Board ended. My job was moving to another state and I opted NOT to follow but pursue music full time. I told some friends about the BBAS show but not many. One of my friends, Shreen, agreed to be 1 of my guests on stage that night.. her poetry is incredible and extremely heartfelt. That night, shreen bumped into a man that told me when he say me... "hahaha...I am your dad... I am your dad but you don't realize I am your father but I am...I'll explain soon..."
I met my "father" who stood powerfully in front of me, next to Shreen and Rachel and 1 of his comrades and I was in awe. When I shook his hand I actually said "wow" that is when he mentioned about being my father without me really knowing. I did the knowledge to many things but to this point I never saw Ernie Paniccioli face to face. It almost felt like the day I met Mohammed Ali. It was that powerful!
We walked to Voodoo Lounge and it was packed in there. I got to sit down and build with Ernie for 20 minutes or so, prior to performing. I caught wind of the 1st performance..the room was packed but the energy was kind of "meh!" The first artist was skilled but didn't bring that UMMPH to the stage!
Majesty showed up to help me out on stage, he was my other guest feature and I took stage second. I remember the DJ for the night went out of order with my MP3s so I did "Halozzz" first. The song is a bit slow..so I wasn't happy I somehow started off with that! the DJ was not paying attention when I signaled for him to change it but I kept going... I'll be water for the night. The crowd after I performed that joint was 40% with me 60% not with me. Mind you my bosses from The College Board came down to Voodoo Lounge to support me. In my mind the crowd was kind of not "really" into it BUT i was already hulked out based on my talk with Brother Ernie prior to getting on stage. "Monsta Eyez" was the next song, featuring Gamma-Ra aka Majesty from the BX. WE tore through that sh*t and the crowd was 1000% behind us.. it was ill to see Homeboy Sandman, and a few other great artists like Top $ Raz rocking with us! It was a blessing. I followed up with an acapella and then Shreen went into her poem. We bodied that show!
It was most amazing that although busy, Ernie came thru, to show love, just for my set, before proceeding to be on his way and he even took time to take photos of me which was a huge honor for someone that has documented hip hop with photography since the beginning! On the night of my biggest show after the biggest hiatus in my life, I meet the eyes of Hip Hop itself... It was a blessing and even more so that Ernie captured some of it!
Prior to leaving the stage I told the fans to make noise for "Brother Ernie" and gave him the ill shout out! He was humble...I am sure he's gotten tons of shout outs over the years but I had to let him know...that there is definitely love in the building yo!
What amazes me is that there is no video at all, for that event to this day! WE tore that SHIT the FUCK DOWN yo! It was so dope that Top Dolla came over to me when I got off stage like " yo.. you raised the bar for the night ...I gotta try to do even better now" He said something similar to that!
here's the deal.... I had a lot to deal with, mentally, working with an incredible team of MCs in my past but that team never had my best interest at heart. All the hearsay and more was extremely troublesome for me because I live, to love and support my friends and family...that is who I've been since childhood. Being in a crew, with some of the most powerful members having cruel intentions truly makes you feel invalidated as an artist and a man. My haitus and return was validate and knighted by 1 of the most powerful roots to the tree of Hip Hop life itself. And it was a HUGE and super validating experience to meet such an incredible and fatherly figure. Because he's seen it all and he came thru to validate and thus, validated me...and although outside validation
Brother Ernie I found out, has cancer. We have to do what we can to make sure he gets treatment. I see people spend money on BS all day but when it comes to our elders and REAL peoples, we don't have money for it! I am blessed because kickstarter friends really got behind me to support me and donate towards me at 1 point in time, and that was for something material. But this is health itself... Ernie needs us...considering he's given so much to the planet already, visually...we have to give back...there is no excuses.
PLEASE VISIT HERE to make a donation! http://erniepaniccioli.chipin.com
Prior to leaving, Brother Ernie told me 1 of his favorite songs of all time is
Yeah... truth...and it's ill cuz it's a Long Island MC, just like me!
If you could help promote this page in any way or give any amount regardless of how small, we would really appreciate it. Currently he has over 4 thousand friends on Facebook. If each person donated $10 we could raise 40k almost immediately. Please feel free to donate more, but if all you can donate is a couple dollars or even ONE dollar, that will help. Let's show Ernie that Hip Hop takes care of its own!
Here's the link you can share with your friends:
To check out his fan page check:
Ask yourself... What would hip hop LOOK like if it wasn't for Brother Ernie... nah mean!?