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Lords of the Underground Co-Founder, Dupré Kelly, Stakes Claim as First Platinum-Selling Hip-Hop Artist Elected to Office

Nearly 50 years after its founding, hip-hop has put its first platinum-selling artist into elected office.

The claim is made by the campaign of Dupré "DoItAll" Kelly, one of the founders of iconic New Jersey rap group Lords of the Underground.

Kelly, along with Al’Terik “Mr. Funke” Wardrick and Bruce “DJ Lord Jazz” rose to prominence in the 1990s with the release of the group's debut album "Here Come the Lords." Named one of the "The 50 Best Rap Albums from 1993" by Spin magazine, it reached No. 66 on the Billboard 200 and produced two Top 10 singles on the rap charts in "Chief Rocka" (which reached No. 1) and "Funky Child" (No. 2).

It was a big victory for the 51-year-old, who said his long journey into politics began with a conversation with legendary rapper Tupac Shakur over two decades ago.

"I had a conversation with Tupac Shakur about this day. I wish he could be here to see me this day," said Councilman Kelly during his inauguration ceremony on July 1."

He continued, "Over 25 years ago, he and I had a conversation in an Orlando hotel room, and he said that we shouldn't move from our cities, dude. He said we should come back and create nonprofits and create youth initiatives and youth programs. We might also need to do some things that we may not want and that means running for office."

Now Kelly will serve his hometown as a city council member in Newark, NJ, just four years after suffering a devastating defeat in his first attempt to win an at-large seat for the same council as an independent.

A release from his campaign stated that the newly elected official "promises to move the West Ward forward with a revitalization plan that includes youth education and employment initiatives that young people find interesting."

Kelly is familiar with the district, having been raised by a single mother there. He attended 13th Avenue Elementary School and continued to Newark Tech (now Essex County Vocational & Technical School), where he excelled in baseball and basketball.

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