DJ Cassidy will return to BET Thanksgiving weekend with a Pass the Mic special immediately following the Soul Train Music Awards. This upcoming special will be devoted to the dance-based music of the late 1970s and 80s.
DJ Cassidy’s Pass the Mic: BET Soul Train Edition 2021 is the fourth in a series of after-party specials Cassidy has done for the network, the first having been after last year’s Soul Train Awards.
Although most of the guests have yet to be revealed, some names who will participate include Kurtis Blow, Melle Mel, Stephanie Mills, and Charlie Wilson - “two undisputed R&B icons and two undisputed hip-hop icons who all came to prominence at a similar and very transformative time,” DJ Cassidy says. In total, the host will pass the mic to nearly 20 R&B and hip hop icons during the special.
The years of the songs on the show will span from 1975 to 1985, Cassidy told Variety . As usual with Pass the Mic, the stars will come on camera to sing or rap a verse or two of their prominent hits over the host’s beats in a continual medley.
“The conversations I had filming this edition, I never wanted to end,” Cassidy says. “I listened to surreal first-hand stories about a time in the very early ’80s when the fledgling hip-hop culture of the South Bronx merged with the art world and punk-rock scene of downtown New York City. I’ve always been fascinated by this widely influential intersection. If I could go back in time to live through another era, this would be the time that I’d put on my DeLorean’s flux capacitor.”
While “Pass the Mic” is filmed from home, the DJ is excited his special will follow the first Soul Train Awards to be broadcast from the Apollo Theatre in Harlem.
“I always look up the artists when we shoot and learn things I didn’t know,” he says. “I always discover ties that the artists have to the particular theme of the show. And Stephanie Mills won amateur night at the Apollo at age 11 six times in a row, before becoming the Grammy-winning international R&B icon that she is.”
Since Cassidy began the series in quarantine in May 2020, he’s passed the mic to 190 of his R&B and hip-hop favorites. Perhaps most famously this past year, he was invited by the Biden/Harris inaugural committee to do two versions of Pass the Mic for virtual inauguration festivities, one for the “Celebrate America” concert and another for the “Parade Across America” special.
This year he also put together the music for a Tommy Hilfiger Pass the Mic global campaign dedicated to celebrating up-and-coming artists, including Jack Harlow, Anthony Ramos, and others. Additionally, he has a song with Snoop Dogg and Mary J. Blige on Snoop’s new album, Algorithm, coming out this Friday via Def Jam. The song, “Diamond Life,” marks Snoop and Blige’s first collaboration and was produced by Cassidy with D’Mile, who produced the new Silk Sonic album.
The Soul Train Music Awards air on BET on November 28 at 8pm ET. Pass the Mic will air immediately after the awards, at 10:30pm ET.
Watch last year's Pass The Mic: BET Soul Train Edition below.
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