The corner of Jersey City’s Pacific Avenue and Maple Street was packed with Kool & the Gang fans as city officials gathered to deem the street â€œKool & the Gang Way.”
â€œWe can from here. To go on to be successful, if you work hard, you can be successful. We came out, right out of this area here,â€ Robert â€œKoolâ€ Bell said regarding what the street renaming means to this neighborhood.
“Now weâ€™ve been all over the world and itâ€™s very good for young kids to see that. You can make it if you try.”
According to Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and member of the Jersey City Council, the street renaming procedure has been more strict in recent years since certain guidelines must be met.
It was Councilwoman-at-Large Joyce Watterman who pushed for the renaming of Maple Street – where most of the band members grew up.
â€œItâ€™s a significant honor, to say the least. For them to do this really speaks to the respect that we have for your accomplishments overall,â€ Fulop said to Kool & the Gang before the unveiling.
Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro shared that one of the requirements to rename a street was that a person was to be deceased.
â€œWith all the things that they have said about what comes out of the streets and urban cities, people will know that legends come out of the streets of Jersey City,â€ he stated.
Robert ‘Kool’ Bell, Ronald Khalis Bell, Dennis ‘DT’ Thomas and George Brown were in attendance to celebrate the day.
â€œWe used to play all the little parties in the backyard and the basements and all of that. We have been very fortunate and very blessed to take the music that grew up here in Jersey City, all around the world,â€ said DT.
â€œWe are here to celebrate the accomplishments of a group of young boys who started here, and why this day is so special is because you know why? Itâ€™s one of our own, itâ€™s a Jersey City-ite,â€ Watterman said.
Kool sang a quick tune to Hudson County View celebrating the historic day.