December 1, 2023

The beginning of hip-hop dates to Aug. 11, 1973, when DJ Kool Herc created steady break-beats by working two turntables throughout a celebration in a rec room at 1520 Sedgwick Ave within the Bronx. On Friday night time, exactly 50 years later, a live performance was held at Yankee Stadium — roughly a mile and a half from hip-hop’s birthplace — to honor the event, that includes Run-DMC, Slick Rick, Ice Dice, Snoop Dogg, Lil’ Kim and Nas. DJ Kool Herc, 68, additionally appeared onstage to just accept an award.

Earlier than the present, which was billed as “Hip Hop 50 Live,” the scene outdoors the stadium was heavy with followers of the sounds from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. Center-aged {couples} on date nights arrived carrying matching Adidas observe fits. A person strolled the promenade carrying a boombox and carrying a Kangol hat. Hawkers offered pins with footage of Biz Markie and The Infamous B.I.G.

Outdoors a McDonald’s reverse the stadium, a road musician carried out Tupac Shakur hits, whereas an in-line skater entertained the gang with basketball methods. Stationed beside a subway entrance was an 8-year-old rapper, Hetep BarBoy, who, accompanied by his father, was promoting CDs of his album. “I want old-school hip-hop,” Hetep stated. “I like Rakim due to his circulate and the clear message he was placing into the world. He rapped about positivity, and that’s additionally what my music is about.”

Within the edited interviews beneath, attendees mirrored on hip-hop’s 50th. Some recalled witnessing the park jams and events that outlined the style’s beginnings.

Decide a facet: Outdated-school hip-hop or new? Outdated-school all day. I used to be on the rap battles in the parks. Hip-hop got here from the grime. You needed to be a lyrical murderer then. In case you weren’t, you had been trash. I really feel when you have one thing to say now, you’re seen as wack. Again then your circulate needed to be intact.

Your old-school hero? Massive Daddy Kane was as soon as the prince of hip-hop. He had loopy lyrical circulate. He was super-duper fly. He was unmatched.

Which old-school hero are you right here to see? Ice Dice. To me he represents the start of hip-hop’s renaissance. However I’d by no means use the time period “old-school.” I name artists like him “true-school.”

What’s a big hip-hop historical past second for you? The general public entry tv present “Video Music Box” was important to hip-hop’s development within the Eighties. All of the forefathers appeared on that show.

Outdated-school or new? I noticed the beginning of hip-hop as a child rising up within the Bronx. I used to be at these Sedgwick Avenue events. I noticed Chilly Crush Brothers and Afrika Bambaataa. So this all goes manner again for me. It’s superb to see how hip-hop has develop into a global force, however once I was a child, it was nearly having enjoyable within the park. It wasn’t about how good your automotive was or how a lot cash you had.

Do you ever boast about seeing hip-hop’s beginning? I do typically inform younger people who I noticed the start of all this, but it surely often falls on deaf ears, and so they don’t get it. However that sort of response can be a part of hip-hop to me, as a result of it’s a style that’s speculated to be all the time evolving from its previous.

Outdated-school or new? For me it’s nonetheless all about Melle Mel, the Sugarhill Gang and Kurtis Blow. They’re the originals. Again within the day hip-hop was healthful and enjoyable. I don’t even perceive it now.

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What’s a big hip-hop historical past second for you? I keep in mind seeing “Beat Street” within the movie show within the Eighties. It was a world I already knew from seeing B-Boys on College Avenue, however for many individuals, that was the primary time they ever noticed break dancing tradition.

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Who do you take into account a pioneer? Missy Elliott. She had one thing to say. What she was doing was sonically distinctive, and her ability and individuality had been all the time instantly seen in her rap type.

Who’re you right here to see tonight? I’m right here to see all of them. I wish to see hip-hop historical past. Tonight is music training for me.

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What’s a big hip-hop second for you? I can nonetheless keep in mind using in a automotive with my buddies once I heard “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang for the primary time.

Outdated-school or new? I really like the old-school. I really feel like the brand new faculty is about all of the improper stuff, like shopping for jewellery and costly automobiles. Grandmaster Flash was reaching the children in a great way. Outdated-school rap was about group and the place we got here from. It modified our lives.

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Your old-school hero? Snoop Dogg. When he and Dr. Dre got here out with “The Chronic” it shook the world. Everybody adopted their manner after that.

What’s a big hip-hop second for you? An essential artist who I really feel is just too little identified now’s Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam. Her hit “Can You Feel the Beat” was not possible to not wish to sing and dance to when it got here out.

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Who do you wish to see tonight? Lil’ Kim. She’s a pioneer. She’s from the block. She’s the queen of every little thing. She was the blueprint. If it wasn’t for her, there can be no Nicki Minaj.

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Outdated-school or new? I grew up within the boogie-down Bronx, so I went to all these legendary park jams. They’d hook up the turntables and audio system, and the cops would ultimately come to show all of it off. You’d see Biz Markie and Doug E. Recent. It was an excellent time. It began from nothing and have become one thing. But it surely all started with us simply saying to one another: “Yo, they’re having a celebration on Sedgwick Avenue tonight. Wish to go?”

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