NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York City is putting the spotlight on hip hop ahead of the genre’s 50th birthday.
The genre is largely acknowledged as having been “born” in the Bronx on Aug. 11, 1973. Hip hop legend DJ Kool Herc spun the basics of it at a turntable during parties on Sedgewick Avenue.
Mayor Eric Adams – wearing a tracksuit – was joined on Monday by Grandmaster Flash, Roxanne Shanté, Slick Rick, Run-DMC’s Darryl McDaniels and the Sugarhill Gang’s Master Gee. He announced a partnership with the Universal Hip Hop Museum, set to open in 2024.
“We’re going to have a celebratory party like we’d never witnessed before,” Adams said. “The birth of hip hop is here in New York City and we are going to celebrate that birth throughout this entire city and go into venues, venues that historically denied your right to be there.”
New York is the only city in the US that can claim five decades of hip hop history, Museum Chairman and President Rocky Bucano said. The museum will be dedicated to preserving and celebrating those 50 years of history.
“We want to empower and uplift our communities using hip hop,” Bucano said. “We want to show truth to power in our storytelling, and we want to bring people together. Hip hop is about unity. It’s not about creating this diverse friction between each other.”
City officials also said there would be 50 events celebrating hip hop for its 50th birthday
“When they first approached me and told me, ‘Listen, what we’re going to do is we are going to do 50 events, 50 days celebrating 50 years of hip hop,’ I was like, ‘That’s a lot of 50s,'” Shanté said. “But I am honored to be able to participate knowing that seeing the spin that has been taken with New York City and knowing that we’re getting ready to celebrate something like hip hop here in New York City, where it was. A lot of people want to debate whether it was created here or not, but where we have perfected it. Don’t you agree?”
In May, museum organizers celebrated the completion of the building’s structure. At the time, Officials said they needed $5 million in additional funding to complete the interior. The museum will be more than 50,000 square feet.