Cortez Mckay, known to many as a renaissance man, is a Director / Producer / Editor / Founder of Birthofhiphop.com. Birth of HipHop is a website of original series and dramatic films depicting the Hip-Hop culture worldwide. Mr. Mckay directs and produces narrative films that chronicles Hip-Hop stories based on true events in history.
His career began early as a child performer in Stage and Films. He performed with Aretha Franklin at the Apollo Theatre and Josephine Baker at Carnegie Hall as a tot. Cortez attended The High School of Performing Arts as a dancer and actor. In 1981 he won the Presidential Scholarship Award for dance and choreography received from Nancy Regan at the White House. He later appeared in the movie Fame, BeatStreet, Equalizer and The Believers.
After graduating High School, Mr. Mckay landed a role on Broadway in Bob Fosse’s Dancin’. Bob Fosse, an Oscar Award Winning Director, became Cortez’s mentor as he performed on Broadway and toured the world. After the tour, Cortez won a scholarship to the prestigious Juilliard School in New York, also attended the School of Visual Arts where her received his Bachelors Degree in Film.
Cortez won the award for best Director and Film at the New York Film Festival. He went on to work with RZA from the Wu tang Clan, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, C&C Music Factory and others. He also produced music for HBO’s Taxi Cab Confessions and Pimps Up Hoes Down.
Recently he launched a Production Company in conjunction with Birthofhiphop.com that delivers a unparalleled visual experience that evokes the imagination. His creative eye specializes in all phases of film/video productions. Birthofhiphop is a full-service film, video and multi-media production company. The company handles and curats projects from pre through post production.
His latest film ‘Itching For A Scratch’ is based on a true story that portrays a young Dj, Theodore Livingston known as Grand Wizard Theodore, discovering the art of scratching vinyl records. The film premiered opening night at the Harlem International Film Festival honoring new independent films of the hip hop culture.
Documentarian / Director