New York City (July 26, 2023) — New York City Tourism + Conventions, the official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau for the five boroughs, invites visitors and locals to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop in the official birthplace of hip-hop, New York City. This music genre, which is now a global movement, traces its roots to a Bronx party at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue on August 11, 1973, hosted by DJ Kool Herc. In celebration of this milestone anniversary, NYC Tourism has partnered with Mass Appeal—the entertainment company behind Hip Hop 50—to support key events across New York City, and launched a dedicated hip-hop content hub at NYCtourism.com. The hub features an interactive map of hip-hop experiences across the five boroughs; interviews and Q&As and with local hip-hop aficionados; guides to hip-hop culture, history, shops, restaurants, art murals, tours and neighborhoods; and a listing of commemorative events and cultural exhibitions across NYC.
“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, and we’re excited to bring that to life at NYCtourism.com through our dedicated content hub—our love letter to hip-hop in NYC.”
NYC Tourism’s interactive map, located toward the bottom of the hip-hop content hub, serves as a guide for visitors to plan hip-hop exploration at locations across all five boroughs. The hub also features exclusive interviews with Ralph McDaniels, Video Music Box creator; Rocky Bucano, founder of the Universal Hip Hop Museum (which is scheduled in open in 2025); and Debra Harris, founder of Hush Hip Hop Tours.
NYC Tourism has also designed an additional map that will be displayed on out-of-home media across NYC, highlighting names of people and places who contributed to hip-hop history over the past 50 years.
“The 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop provided us with an opportunity to reflect on the ways in which hip-hop has influenced our culture and create fresh content to enhance the visitor experience in New York City,” said Rondel Holder, Senior Vice President, Multicultural Content at New York City Tourism + Conventions. “We encourage locals and visitors to utilize our content hub and interactive map this summer and beyond to immerse themselves in the vibrant hip-hop culture across the boroughs.”
NYC Tourism partnered with Mass Appeal to support events across NYC—via a multimedia campaign—including Hip Hop 50 Live at Yankee Stadium on August 11, the official birthdate of the genre.
“I was born in the greatest city in the world, which also happens to be the birthplace of the cultural phenomenon we call hip-hop," said Peter Bittenbender, CEO of Mass Appeal. “As Mass Appeal continues to celebrate hip-hop's 50th birthday across all five boroughs, we're thrilled to partner with NYC Tourism + Conventions to help us amplify the festivities. I'm beyond proud to be a part of Hip Hop 50 Live, creating such a monumental event which pays homage to both the originators and the contemporaries of this movement."
Below is a sampling of celebratory hip-hop offerings across NYC:
50 Years of Hip-Hop at the New York Public Library & Book of HOV | Through Summer 2023 | Citywide The New York Public Library is hosting free hip-hop themed events and surprises such as art classes, movie nights, beat-making and more at libraries across the City. The Brooklyn Public Library recently premiered the Book of HOV: a retrospective of the life and work of Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter to date, on view throughout the summer.
Sky’s the Limit in the County of King | Through October 31 | Dumbo, Brooklyn Near the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge sits Sherwin Banfield’s sculpture dedicated to Brooklyn-born hip-hop titan Christopher Wallace, aka The Notorious B.I.G. The 9-foot-tall memorial celebrates the life, art and legacy of the late rapper and was erected in 2022 to mark the 25th anniversary of Biggie’s death. The structure features a bust of Wallace wearing a crown, modeled on a famous photoshoot before his death; panels highlighting his achievements; and plays songs by the rapper.
Seaport Arts: Photoville’s Hip Hop 50 | Through October 31 | The Seaport, Manhattan
Public photography festival Photoville will display Hip Hop at 50 by Janette Beckman on the windows at the corner of Fulton and Front Street. Known for her work with NYC’s hip-hop scene in the 1980s, Beckman is an influential documentarian in urban culture having photographed rap pioneers including Run-DMC, Slick Rick, Salt-N-Pepa, Grandmaster Flash and LL Cool J.
Harlem Festival of Culture | July 28–30 | Randall’s Island, Manhattan
This three-day celebration will combine concerts, dinners, discussions and film screenings hosted at locations in Harlem and throughout Manhattan. The ticketed live performance lineup includes Bell Biv DeVoe, Cam’ron, Doug E. Fresh, Mase, Estelle and many others on Friday; Teyana Taylor and other guests on Saturday; and Wyclef Jean with Fat Joe, Remy Ma and more on Sunday.
Hip Hop Til Infinity | August 2 Through September 17 | Lower Manhattan Tickets are on sale now for this digital installation that will transport visitors through an illumination of hip- hop’s storied history including different eras and regions. Co-produced by global entertainment company Mass Appeal and hybrid creative studio SUPERBIEN, the exhibition will bring 50 years of hip-hop to life.
“Birth of a Culture: The 4 Elements Block Party” Grandmaster Flash and Friends | August 4 | The Bronx
Grandmaster Flash, one of the founding fathers of hip-hop, will bring several friends and fellow pioneers of the culture to Crotona Park to celebrate their contributions with a block party in the place it all started.
ITSALLBLACKMUSIC PRESENTS 5x5 Block Party Series | August 5, 6, 12 | Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx
ITSALLBLACKMUSIC PRESENTS, in partnership with New York City Mayor Eric Adams, will host a series of free block parties in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, featuring renowned DJs and influential artists alongside street art installations, food vendors, interactive experiences and educational entertainment talks.
Rock the Bells at Forest Hills Stadium | August 5 | Queens
Rock the Bells, the global platform dedicated to elevating hip-hop culture, will celebrate Hip-Hop 50 at Forest Hill Stadium—celebrating its 100th anniversary—with hip-hop luminaries including founder LL Cool J, Salt-N-Pepa, Ludacris, Queen Latifa and more.
Lincoln Center Hip-Hop Week | August 9–12 | Upper West Side, Manhattan
Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City will honor the golden anniversary of hip-hop with live performances, outdoor dance parties and silent discos featuring the greatest DJs of past and present, a trap choir experience and participatory family events.
Mass Appeal & Live Nation’s Hip Hop 50 Live Concert at Yankee Stadium | August 11 | The Bronx
Tickets are now available for this milestone event featuring hip-hop legends and pioneers including Run-DMC, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Eve, Lil’ Kim, Remy Ma, Trina, T.I., Fat Joe, Common, A$AP Ferg, The SugarHill Gang and more.
BRIC Hip-Hop 50th Anniversary Weekend | August 11–12 | Brooklyn
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! will feature a weekend of performances by Digable Planets and Kari Faux plus Film Night: Brown Sugar.
Dance in Times Square Ailey Extension Hip-Hop 50th Anniversary Celebration | August 10 | Times Square, Manhattan
A special hip-hop 50th anniversary celebration welcomes all to join Ailey’s leading hip-hop instructors for an energetic experience presented by Ailey Extension and Times Square Alliance as part of Dance in Times Square—a series of free weekly outdoor dance workshops.
Hot 97 & WBLS Present Hip Hop Forever at MSG | September 15 | Midtown Manhattan
This concert will feature an exciting lineup including Staten Island–born Wu-Tang Clan, Mary J. Blige and more.
New York City Wine & Food Festival The Cookout: Hip Hop’s 50th Anniversary Celebration | October 15 | Manhattan
This closing event cookout, hosted by James Beard Award–winning chef JJ Johnson and Rev Run, will feature a lineup of Black chefs in New York showcasing their signature cuisine, including Chef Johnson attempting the record for the largest amount of joloff—a West African rice dish—cooked at one time, as well as performances by DJ Cassidy and Rev Run with MC Angela Yee.
For more hip-hop events across NYC’s five boroughs, visit nycgov.com/hiphop.
Visit NYCtourism.com/hiphop for fresh content in the coming weeks including hip-hop guides by borough highlighting the history of hip-hop culture and present-day hip-hop culture in each borough written by locals; top 10 hip-hop performances at the Apollo, hip-hop and sneaker culture over the decades; and more.
About New York City Tourism + Conventions
New York City Tourism + Conventions is the official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide. For all there is to do and see in New York City, visit nyctourism.com.
About Hip Hop 50
Hip Hop 50 is Mass Appeal’s love letter to Hip Hop. A manifestation of the company’s commitment to celebrating the culture in the most authentic and globally impactful way possible. Hip Hop 50 is activating through unique storytelling that is realized in timeless content, original music, live experiences, strategic partnerships, custom products and much, much more. Every facet of the Hip Hop 50 Universe includes a charitable component connected to the Universal Hip Hop Museum. Find #HipHop50 online, on-air and on the block.
About Mass Appeal
Mass Appeal is an entertainment company dedicated to telling stories from the perspective of those who shape and shift culture. Since 1996, we have documented the emerging movements that influence popular ideas. Today, Mass Appeal is the elevated voice of Hip Hop and its ever-expanding sphere of influence. Integrated offerings in content, music, and creative services stoke Mass Appeal’s ability to maximize the impact of our output. Our diverse school of thought separates us from friends and foes alike. Follow Mass Appeal on all social platforms @massappeal.
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