The mother of late hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur is to give a keynote speech at the 1ST ANNUAL HIP-HOP APPRECIATION WEEK AWARDS CEREMONY on 18 May (03).

The event follows in the wake of an increasing number of groups using hip-hop as a means of organising awareness-raising cultural events - similar to those successfully put together by rap mogul RUSSELL SIMMONS' HIP HOP SUMMIT ACTION Network.

Aiming to "promote unity and the decriminalisation of hip-hop's image" the theme for the week is "responsibility", and Afeni Shakur will provide one of the flagship speeches for the ceremony in Atlanta.

Event producer DEE DEE COCHETA says, "Afeni Shakur has come on board because I am quite sure she shares the same feelings as many in hip-hop right now, that there must be a greater sense of responsibility in our actions.

"To understand the history of the hip-hop culture, the Atlanta community needs to be involved and what better way than to be a part of the nomination and voting process of an awards production that focuses on civic duties of the hip-hop community."

Rapper Tupac died in Las Vegas in September 1996 after being shot four times.

15/05/2003 17:30