About Pam the Funkstress
In mid-December, news came that Pam the Funkstress had passed away. Although many of us knew that Pam had been in the hospital we all thought she'd pull through. I don't think it dawned on any of us that she might not make it, so when we got the news it was a complete shock.
When I saw it on my facebook timeline, I immediately tagged others and news was already spreading quickly. Many people suggested some kind of tribute or fundraiser and this prompted the B-Girl Be family to begin talking about a celebration for Pam in Minneapolis. We had brought Pam in to deejay a number of times for the B-Girl Be Festival and also for other events over the years.
Most recently, she had become Prince's personal deejay, something she was very proud of. Pam was very kind and generous and I remember her saying numerous times, "If you want me here, I'll be here. Whenever you want me." She was very down to earth and made connections with many of us who were a part of the BGB family. Pam & Shannon Blowtorch became friends thanks to B-Girl Be and would speak regularly up until she was hospitalized.
Shannon and I took the lead on organizing the event and the BGB team was down to do whatever needed to be done to make it happen. We all agreed that we wanted to honor Pam's contribution to not only Hip Hop Culture but also to Minneapolis and women in music.
Just before Pam's death, I had a conversation with Reies Romero about Dilla Day Weekend and he was interested in bringing in a female MC. I had given him a contact and really hadn't thought much more about it until Pam's passing. This initial connection eventually led to us collaborating and combining forces for the Pam x Dilla event.
Be Girl B & Dilla Day Collaboration
But before I get to that, here's a little backstory: Reies and I had met in the late 90's on the Hip Hop scene and he was one of the first men on the scene to openly support me as a female Hip Hop artist. He was always supportive, funny and welcoming, which at the time, was pretty rare. The scene was pretty vibrant and there were a lot of different crews and tons of shows. Even though everyone was connected, we didn't all communicate about what shows we had coming up so there was a lot of oversaturation on the scene.
So, that leads me back into the story of BGB & Dilla Day Weekend – Shannon and I spoke about the possibility of collaboration with Dilla Day Weekend and a dual celebration for Pam & Dilla. I reached out to Reies to see if we might be able to partner in some way. It was the perfect fit and we all felt like coming together would help broaden our reach and impact. We started planning and had a face to face meeting and a number of conference calls to get things lined up and decided that the night would focus on the deejay element.
(click above image for fb event invite)
In the spirit of B-Girl Be, we put together an all-woman Deejay line up that will pay tribute to honor the contributions of Pam and Dilla, along with some guest appearances and special performances throughout the night. Both Pam & Dilla have made history and represent the backbone & creative spirit of the culture and their skills provided the vibe of the party so we thought it would only be right to celebrate the Deejay, the Music and the Movement
The mother of Hip Hop, Maureen "Ma Dukes" Yancy will be attending the Pam x Dilla tribute, with her presence in the building, it will just add to the overwhelming love that will be felt throughout the night. Ma Dukes has dedicated her life to her son James Dewitt Yancey and since his passing she has worked so hard to keep his memory and musical contributions alive with the utmost integrity and wisdom, it is going to be an honor to have her and husband Toney with us for this special evening of remembrance as she celebrates with her MN family and chapter.