December 7, 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 evening, 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 sporting matching Adidas monitor fits. A person strolled the promenade carrying a boombox and sporting a Kangol hat. Hawkers offered pins with footage of Biz Markie and The Infamous B.I.G.

Exterior a McDonald’s reverse the stadium, a avenue 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 choose old-school hip-hop,” Hetep stated. “I like Rakim due to his stream 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: Previous-school hip-hop or new? Previous-school all day. I used to be on the rap battles in the parks. Hip-hop got here from the filth. You needed to be a lyrical murderer then. Should you weren’t, you had been trash. I really feel if in case you have one thing to say now, you’re seen as wack. Again then your stream needed to be intact.

Your old-school hero? Huge Daddy Kane was as soon as the prince of hip-hop. He had loopy lyrical stream. 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 major hip-hop historical past second for you? The general public entry tv present “Video Music Box” was important to hip-hop’s progress within the Nineteen Eighties. All of the forefathers appeared on that show.

Previous-school or new? I noticed the delivery 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 turn 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 automobile was or how a lot cash you had.

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

Previous-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 major hip-hop historical past second for you? I keep in mind seeing “Beat Street” within the movie show within the Nineteen 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 think about 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 fashion.

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

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

Previous-school or new? I like the old-school. I really feel like the brand new college is about all of the incorrect stuff, like shopping for jewellery and costly automobiles. Grandmaster Flash was reaching the youngsters in a great way. Previous-school rap was about neighborhood 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 major hip-hop second for you? An necessary artist who I really feel is simply too little recognized now could be Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam. Her hit “Can You Feel the Beat” was inconceivable to not need to sing and dance to when it got here out.

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

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Previous-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 finally come to show all of it off. You’d see Biz Markie and Doug E. Recent. It was a very good time. It began from nothing and have become one thing. However it all started with us simply saying to one another: “Yo, they’re having a celebration on Sedgwick Avenue tonight. Need to go?”

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