“I come from the South Bronx. I had to leave the Bronx to have access to these things. I had to go downtown to take arts classes, writing, theater and poetry classes. What did I do it? I brought all that shit back Uptown so that everyone had access to that and it wasn’t just me. I felt horrible to be in these spaces that I knew would never accept me if I was with my homies from the block. They would never allow me. It was important for me to be the conduit or in the middle and maneuver through these spaces to see what I can do so I could bring it back." – Patty

“There’s a lot of dope things in the hood. We’re trying to empower people to celebrate the dope things. It’s not always about getting away and getting other resources from outside of the hood. That’s super important but it’s also about celebrating the things that are dope in the hood, why we should stay in the hood and foster it...While you’re going out and getting resources from other places and seeing the world, you’re also celebrating your people and the world that you’re in while uplifting those narratives that are from the block." – Reph

This episode has no shortage of hype and energy as we’re joined by Amilcar Alfaro-Martell (Reph) and Patricia Marte (Patty Dukes), who started Circa '95. They’re a hip hop music collective with Afro-Latino roots that actually started off as a podcast back in the day. Their work looks to mesh the best of music, art, culture and athletics through running. They’ve performed at Carnegie Hall, SXSW and even at the Smithsonian Museum. Reph and Patty grew up in Washington Heights and the Bronx and when they’re not hosting their own runs they can be found running with We Run Uptown. (If you want the story behind that group’s origins check out one of our earliest episodes with Hector Espinal.) We kicked off the new year with them because it was recently announced they were among six winners of the Tracksmith Fellowship and look to create a Hip-Hop music project “born at the intersection of arts, athletics, and social justice.” We touch on that, the importance of celebrating and cultivating talent in the community, the connection between hip hop and the urban running scene and much more.

Follow Circa '95: @circa95 | https://www.circa95.com/

Follow Reph: @RephStar

Follow Patty Dukes: @Pattydukes

This is Runners of NYC. A biweekly podcast from CITIUS MAG. Hosts Leigh Anne Sharek and Chris Chavez look to bring you many of the untold stories behind luminaries and legends that make up New York City’s running culture. You can catch the latest episode of the podcast on iTunes so subscribe and leave a five-star review. We are also on Spotify!


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