Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Celebrities joined industry legend Ed Lover and hip hop sweetheart Reginae Carter for a night of lights, camera and action on September 6, 2014 when Atlanta’s hip-hop and philanthropic communities converged at the illustrious Woodruff Arts Center as entrepreneur and socialite LaToya “Leigh” Wise presented the first annual Live and Die for Hip Hop Black Out Gala.

The formal event commemorated the life and legacy of late multi-platinum music artist—and Wise’s first cousin—Chris Kelly, half of the rap duo Kriss Kross. This event was produced in conjunction with Kelly’s mother, Donna Kelly-Pratte, and the turnout was phenomenal.

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 Chris Kelly’s cousin, uncle and aunt, Leigh Wise, Robert and Delanie Barber

The vision of the Live and Die for Hip Hop Black Out Gala was birthed out of a desire to celebrate the life of Chris Kelly and offer music scholarships to students that attend the Atlanta Institute of Music and Media, Kelly’s alma mater. Wise teamed up with The Atlanta Step-Up Society for a night of music, philanthropy and celebrity.

The Historic Woodruff Arts Center was star-studded with an overwhelming amount of attendees that came to celebrate the life of Chris Kelly, including key tastemakers and familiar faces from entertainment and music. The event was hosted by hip-hop legend Ed Lover; daughter of mega rapper Lil Wayne, Reginae Carter; and socialites the Three Brown Girls.

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 Bone Crusher performing

The event was curated by reality television Phenom Dwight Eubanks of The Real Housewives of Atlanta and produced by Leigh Wise, Donna Kelly-Pratte and Delanie Barber. Attendees included former labelmate Tiny Harris (formerly of R&B group Xscape), VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” castmates Kirk and Rasheeda Frost, reality TV personality Toya Wright, radio personality Eboni Steele, recording artist Pretty Kenny, music industry veteran Shanti Das, former RHOA castmate Sheree Whitfield, VH1’s “Atlanta Exes” castmate Sheree Buchanan and Zonnique Pullins of OMG Girlz .

World renowned DJ Nabs was spinning, and Bone Crusher grabbed the mic for a special performance. Vice president of Atlantic Records and former A&R for LaFace Records Kawan “KP” Prather and founder of Organized Noize, Rico Wade, were recognized by their respected colleagues and clients for all the that they’ve contributed to the hip-hop industry. Proceeds from the gala awarded Atlanta Institute of Music and Media (Kelly’s alma mater) student, Javaun Mundle a music scholarship.

Check out more photos below:

Carter Brown Girls

Reginae Carter/Three Brown Girls

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 Chris Kelly’s Grandmother, Rosina Williams and Tameka “Tiny” Harris

Dwight and Her Ebony Steel and Ed Lover

Dwight Eubanks and Leigh Wise/Ebony Steel and Ed Lover

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Chris Kelly’s mother, Donna Kelly-Pratte

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 Victor Jackson/Honorees Rico Wade and Kawan “KP” Prather

She by Sheree

Former RHOA Sheree Whitfield

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DJ Nabs, Kirk Frost, and DJ Jelly

Chanita Foster, Shanti Das.jpg 09 Cocoa Brown

 Chanita Foster with Shanti Das/Cocoa Brown

Toya and Rasheeda

Rasheeda and LaToya Wright

Photo Credit: Chuck Brown Photography