It's hard to be a product of the '80s and not hear Kurtis Blow's famous rap "Basketball" echo in your head when you see the neighborhood kids playing hoops.

Who is Kurtis Blow, you ask? Just the King of Rap and the first rapper to sign a record deal with a major recording studio. Does "The Breaks" ring a bell?

The rapper-turned-minister isn't an old-school has-been. He's still a positive force in hip hop with his gospel rap movement, and he's bringing his mission to feed the hungry to Savannah as the headliner for Summerfest.

Carl Gilliard, the CEO of Feed the Hungry Inc. in Garden City, said he can't quit pacing the floor of his office these days because he's so excited to be a part of something so huge for his community.

Feed the Hungry, a nonprofit group that provides free food and clothes to needy folks in the Coastal Empire, sponsors Summerfest.

The star-studded lineup is proving to be an exciting milestone in Gilliard's efforts to help raise funds for his organization.

"We've got real legends coming to town for this concert," Gilliard said.

"The lineup includes Kurtis Blow ('The Breaks'), Full Force ('Ain't My Type of Hype'), R&B artists Allure ('All Cried Out'), Whodini ('Friends'), UTFO ('Roxanne Roxanne'), Maxine Jones from En Vogue ('Hold on to Your Love'), MC Shan ('The Bridge') and gospel star Faith Crystal ('Ain't No Mountain')."

Hip hop artist Sparky D and rap stars Nappy Roots are also on the schedule, and Gilliard is hopeful more stars will join the lineup.

The event also features an old-school gong show and a rising stars contest.

Gilliard admits he's always wanted to bring old-school rappers to Savannah for an event like this.

"I want to introduce our youth to real music that they can appreciate," he said.

"This is the kind of music that you could listen to and still go to church on Sunday morning and not have anything to hide. It wasn't bad music."

Gilliard also admits he's got a history with some of these artists that goes beyond being a fan.

"When I was younger, I was in a local rap group called Candy Love," he said. "We did positive rap here in Savannah. I guess this was sometime around 1985, maybe?

"As a matter of fact, my first rap concert was Kurtis Blow here in Savannah. I got to meet him and Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five, Fat Boys and Sugar Hill Gang and we got to go on tour with some of these acts.

"We would go on stage before the concert and do positive rap, and we got to do some PSAs for different groups around the country," he said.

Gilliard is not only excited for the concert, but for the doors that will open as a result of this new venture with the hip hop community.

"Feed the Hungry gets a lot of its support from local churches," he said.

"We want to get the hip hop community on board to help with hunger, too - not just the churches."

And the event will benefit more than just the hungry here in the Lowcountry.

"Kurtis wrote a song for the Hip Hop for Hunger movement titled 'Spread Some Love,'" Gilliard said. "Hopefully, it will be a crossover song that will reach listeners in hip hop, R&B and gospel venues.

"So far, he has recorded the song with several of the artists that are coming (to Summerfest), but he's been able to bring even more artists on board, too," Gilliard said.

"Kurtis has done a great job letting God use him for this message.

"Who else in the industry could get all these people together?"

He also adds that Blow's team plans to film footage from the events in Savannah to use as the main content for the song's video, too.

According to Gilliard, the video and the song are scheduled to drop the first week of November.

"This is going all over the country - not just Savannah," Gilliard said.

"These artists are not into egos. They really want to help feed the hungry and help all food banks nationwide.

"Hunger is a powerful thing," he said. "It's time for everyone to get involved."

The two-day event begins at 4 p.m. July 5 at Feed the Hungry's Family Life Center in Garden City.

"We'll do our normal Friday brown bag (dinner) giveaway and distribute free clothing, but we'll also have free barbecue, and the artists will be on hand, too."

Gilliard also said the Army will transport the musicians around town on July 6 before the concert.

"We're planning to drop in at barbershops and housing areas so the musicians can meet with folks in the community and spread the word about hunger and bring in some support," he said.

"They all come from humble beginnings and they know what it's like to struggle."