For the culture: Hip Hop at 50, a celebration

What’s good Avocados, HP in the building. As you might know, the ‘official’ birthday of hip hop is observed on 8/11. This year marks the 50th anniversary of a culture and genre of music that has transformed the world.

The 5 pillars of hip hop are: MC’ing, DJ’ing, Breakdancing, Graffiti, and Knowledge. These 5 elements account for the specific quality of lyrics and voice, of music and composition, of dancing/bodily expression, of visual art, and an awareness/reverence for those in the game, and for knowledge and wisdom.

Why August 11th? Well-The story goes that on August 11, 1973 DJ Kool Herc, a building resident, was entertaining at his sister’s back-to-school party, and tried something new on the turntable: he extended an instrumental beat (breaking or scratching) to let people dance longer (break dancing) and began MC’ing (rapping) during the extended breakdancing. (from )

There are many, many wonderful accounts of the history of hip hop- books, podcasts, YouTube videos, etc. If you know of any in particular that you’d like to recommend for people, PLEASE drop that here. Ain’t nothing like some collective educatin’.

The NYT has a long feature on the history for those who want some weekend reading:

The fantastic website Okayplayer (always a good source for hip hop articles/news) has a wonderful section of their site devoted to celebrating/observing a half century of hip hop: .

So many cool stories, from the use of Black Sign Language interpreters to a consideration of contemporary sampling! Worth the time, for sure.

And- this thread is also for tunes! Drop your faves, talk about why you like them, share some memories, etc. We’re here to celebrate this music, and how fun will it be to read about these songs and maybe discover some new things.

Lastly-new to listening to hip hop? Wondering about that clever wordplay you heard? Missed a bar or two and wonder what they said? Genius has you covered-one of my favorite online resources (and also, some amazing gifs in the comments, lol) :

Beats, Rhymes, and Life.