City plans partnership with Universal Hip Hop Museum to celebrate genre's 50th birthday

Mayor Eric Adams is joined by hip hop legends at City Hall to announce 50th anniversary celebrations.
Mayor Eric Adams is joined by hip hop legends at City Hall to announce 50th anniversary celebrations. Photo credit Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of hip hop and Mayor Eric Adams is planning to honor the genre by partnering with the Universal Hip Hop Museum to host events all around the city in celebration.

At a press conference Monday, Adams was joined by hip hop legends, including Grandmaster Flash, Roxanne Shante, Slick Rick, Darryl McDaniels from Run DMC Master Gee from the Sugarhill Gang, to announce the partnership.

“Happy birthday to hip hop. Hip hop turning 50,” the mayor said. “We're going to have a celebratory party like we'd never witnessed before. The birth of hip hop is here in New York City and we are going to celebrate that birth throughout this entire city and go into venues, venues that historically denied your right to be there.”

Mayor Eric Adams at press conference announcing partnership with Universal Hip Hop museum for 50th anniversary.
Mayor Eric Adams at press conference announcing partnership with Universal Hip Hop museum for 50th anniversary. Photo credit Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

The events will kick off in 2023 with the city and Hip Hop Museum planning to conduct 50 events over 50 days to celebrate the 50 years. The partnership will extend to places like libraries and other museums around New York.

Hip Hop legends at City Hall for announcement of 50th anniversary events.
Hip Hop legends at City Hall for announcement of 50th anniversary events. Photo credit Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

“Hip hop uses the most words out of any genre of music, and I think it's important that our young people know how to use those words and make them work for them so they can go further,” said Ralph McDaniels, one of the movement’s founders. “So just so you know, education is the fifth element of hip hop, and that will be represented in this celebration as well.”

Grandmaster Flash speaking at City Hall to announce hip hop anniversary events.
Grandmaster Flash speaking at City Hall to announce hip hop anniversary events. Photo credit Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

As one of the birthplaces of hip hop, the genre has roots all over the city, from Harlem, to the Bronx to Staten Island. With the partnership, the mayor and museum leaders hope to remind the public of how hip hop changed music and how it continues to grow and evolve half a century later.

Roxanne Shanté speaking at City Hall to announce hip hop 50th anniversary events.
Roxanne Shanté speaking at City Hall to announce hip hop 50th anniversary events. Photo credit Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

The Universal Hip Hop Museum is set to open a year after the 50th anniversary, in 2024. It will be located in the South Bronx.

Eric Adams with hip hop legends
Photo credit Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

“We want to empower and uplift our communities using hip hop,” said Rocky Bucano, President and Chairman, Universal Hip Hop Museum of the museum’s goals. “We want to show truth to power in our storytelling, and we want to bring people together. Hip hop is about unity. It's not about creating this diverse friction between each other. We want to make sure that we are all united with hip hop.”

Featured Image Photo Credit: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office