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‘Turns 50!’ New York City celebrates the birth of hip-hop

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Locals and people around the globe were invited to celebrate New York City’s 50 years of hip-hop, a music style that evolved rapidly, and is now dominant around the world.

DX Mural | Courtesy, Nicholas Knight

New York City Tourism + Conventions, the official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau for the five boroughs, invited hip-hoppers to pay tribute to the music genre that transformed from old school to pop culture over the past five decades. 

“New York City is the official birthplace and center of hip-hop culture, from the music to its global influence on art, fashion, dance, language and more,” said Fred Dixon, President and CEO of New York City Tourism + Conventions. 

“Hip-hop has made a lasting impact on New York City’s culture that can be experienced across all five boroughs,” he added.

Courtesy, Hall des Lumières

Aside from being a music genre, hip-hop was also considered a culture and art movement that was created by African Americans, and pioneered from Black American street culture, that had been around for years prior to its more mainstream discovery while later reaching other groups such as Latino Americans and Caribbean Americans, starting in the Bronx, New York City. 

The birth date is difficult to isolate, but musicologists and music experts consider August 11, 1973 as its exact birthday. Jamaican-born DJ Clive Campbell, also known as DJ Kool Herc, broke new ground on that day, on the ground floor of a low-income building at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx.

Hip-hop culture has four key elements: rapping, DJing and turntablism, breakdancing, and graffiti. We can also add swag movements, beatboxing, street entrepreneurship, hip-hop language, and of course, to complete the package, hip-hop fashion.


Courtesy, NYC Wine & Food Festival The Cookout: Hip Hop's 50th Anniversary Celebration

Courtesy, NYC Wine & Food Festival The Cookout: Hip Hop’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

Celebratory hip-hop events were free hip-hop themed events and surprises such as art classes, movie nights, and beat-making at the New York Public Library, three-day celebration of concerts, dinners, discussions and film screenings in Harlem and throughout Manhattan, and free block parties in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, featuring renowned disc jockeys and influential artists. 

On September 15, there will be a concert entitled “Hot 97 & WBLS Present Hip Hop Forever” in Manhattan, featuring Staten Island–born Wu-Tang Clan, Mary J. Blige and more.  On October 15, you may also join and witness the New York City Wine & Food Festival The Cookout to be hosted by JJ Johnson and Rev Run.The finale event will showcase signature cuisines and recipes of Black chefs in NYC.

*Cover Photo/Thumbnail Photo from Vonecia Carswell

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