The world’s largest historically Black college and university (HBCU) homecoming is returning to New York with a series of events, including a football game at MetLife Stadium, and an after-party headlined by DJ Envy on September 16th.
Raashaun Casey, popularly known as DJ Envy, is the co-host of the syndicated radio show “The Breakfast Club” with Charlamagne Tha God. He will be headlining the after-party of the HBCU New York Classic, which will take place at American Dream in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the second-largest mall in the country.
Casey, the Queens native and Hampton University alum, said he is glad to have attended an HBCU and wants to bring the southern HBCU spirit to his hometown.
“Let’s bring the HBCU atmosphere to New York (since) a lot of these students and people in the area don’t get to see it,” Casey said. “People in the south see HBCUs all day. They see the effects of the Morehouses, Spelmans, Clarks, FAMUs, and North Carolina A&Ts.But we don’t get to see that in New York, … we don’t get this experience of an HBCU. And with this classic, a lot of students and a lot of people who may not have seen (this atmosphere) before will get to really, really enjoy it and see it.”
The after-party for the Classic will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, the genre of music that shaped Casey’s career. He said applying the skills he learned from his business management and marketing degree and coupling that with his passion for music led him to a fulfilling and fruitful career.
“As an iconic figure in the New York hip-hop scene, DJ Envy is the perfect person to help us celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop and cap a full day of HBCU football and culture with style,” said Albert Williams, the HBCU New York Classic CEO.
Williams said the event will be the largest HBCU homecoming ever since all HBCU alums, future students, and football fans alike are invited and encouraged to come to the game and the events leading up to the Classic.
The events will begin on Tuesday, September 12, with a breakfast featuring New York City Mayor Eric Adams at Sylvia’s in Harlem. The week will host two high school education days in Newark, New Jersey, and Manhattan, NY.
The events will also include an HBCU-inspired debate at The Apollo, a career expo, a step show, and a pep rally before the main event of the Morehouse College Maroon Tigers against the Albany State University Golden Rams and the after-party.
Williams stressed the importance of these educational events and awareness of HBCU schools in the Northeast. He said he did not know about the existence of predominantly-Black institutions until after he graduated high school and attended St. John’s University for some years.
Williams and Casey hope to share the knowledge and power that HBCUs hold and encourage more young Black people to attend these universities.
“We did have a young man last year that decided he wasn’t going to college.. He spoke to our lady that runs our career fair. And lo and behold, he applied to (approximately) six schools, four of them were HBCUs, and he decided to go to Morehouse,” Williams said. “If you reach one mission accomplished, we want to reach many.”
Williams said the organization expanded its events compared to last year due to increased funding and awareness of the Classic. He said the sponsorships from Google, Walmart, and other large companies show a valuable investment of time and money into Black communities.
In terms of the game’s outcome, Williams said he thinks the scoreline will be interesting, regardless of which team wins. Morehouse is coming in with a lessthan-favorable record after their (1-9) overall record last season. The team was also held scoreless in the previous year’s inaugural game against Howard University, losing 31-0. Conversely, Albany State is coming off a 7-3 record last season and has dominated Morehouse over the past decade, winning 11 games straight since 2010 over Morehouse.