NYC is accredited for a plethora of creations, from a chopped cheese to even toilet paper! But one of the most iconic inventions to ever come out of NYC is hip-hop. And in fact, today (August 11, 2023) marks the 50th anniversary of the music genre.
So let’s take a look back at that day, 50 years ago, when hip-hop first came to be and its journey ever since then.
When did hip-hip originate?
Hip-hop first originated 50 years ago today, on August 11, 1973.
Where did hip-hop come from?
Hip-hop grew out of the Bronx, specifically at 1520 Sedgwick Ave. According to The Washington Post, it was Bronx student, Cindy Campbell, and her back-to-school party that started it all. She had needed a musician for the bash and asked her 18-year-old brother, Clive (aka DJ Kool Herc), to be the entertainment in order to cut costs. It was then that hip-hop was born and DJs took over NYC’s party culture.
What made DJ Kool Herc’s set different from preexisting genres?
“He played the break beats — the funkiest snippets of songs — in a continuous loop on two turntables, so the music, and therefore the dancing, never stopped,” explained The Washington Post. This is what differentiated his set from jazz, blues, rock n’ roll and funk that all came before him.
What are the key elements of hip-hop?
Many people differ on exactly how many key elements there are to hip-hop, so we’ll just break down the basics:
- MCing – this is the oral element of the genre, short for Master of Cermonies
- DJing – this is the use of turntables and mixing techniques
- Breakdancing – this physical element is a dance form
- Graffiti – this is visual art, usually painted or written
- Knowledge – this is in reference to the overall understanding of hip-hop’s history, community and culture
How is NYC celebrating hip-hop’s 50th birthday?
Find all the exciting events and celebrations for hip-hop’s 50th birthday in NYC here.