16 Incredible Events to Celebrate 50th Hip Hop Anniversary
Step into the past, where time-traveling memories come alive. Picture this: a bustling birthday bash in the heart of Sedgwick Avenue, The Bronx. Little did the lively crowd know that a historic revolution in music was about to be unleashed within those walls. And here we are to celebrate 50 Years of Hip Hop.
It all started with one man, Clive Campbell, also known as the legendary DJ Kool Herc. Armed with just a few turntables and a mixer, he weaved pure magic that fateful day. The beats he spun were nothing short of soul-stirring as if they possessed the power to transport people to a different realm.
The date was August 11, 1973, and it marked the birth of a groundbreaking technique—the electrifying breakbeat. Little did anyone realize that this small event would become the catalyst for a global cultural phenomenon, one that transcended mere instruments, beats, and rhythms.
Fast forward to today, and the world is celebrating the golden anniversary of this iconic movement. Hip hop, as it came to be known, has evolved into an unstoppable force, leaving its mark on every corner of the globe. But let us not forget where it all began—right here in New York City, the pulsating birthplace of musical evolution.
So, join us as we dive into the vibrant celebrations and events that honor the birth of hip-hop. Let us pay homage to the pioneers, the visionaries, and the trailblazers who shaped the course of music history forever.
Walking down the memory lanes, people celebrating a birthday party in a recreation room of an apartment building in Sedgwick Avenue, The Bronx, did not know that a historic music genre begins here.
1. Hip Hop’s 50th Birthday Jam
- Schedule: August 11, 12 to 6 PM
- Venue: Mill Pond Park—Bronx
Get ready to groove because the Bronx is on fire with excitement. It is no secret that hip hop was born at the legendary birthday party of DJ Kool Herc’s sister. And now the entire borough is buzzing with anticipation for the upcoming epic events to celebrate 50 years of hip hop.
Mark your calendars for 2024 because the Universal Hip Hop Museum is making its grand entrance with a free block party at Mill Pond Park. This celebration promises to be a feast for the senses, embracing every element that makes hip hop unforgettable.
Picture this: the park adorned with stunning graffiti murals by the talented Thrive Collective, each wall telling its own captivating story. And that is not all. Van Silk’s RAPAMANIA showcase is set to dazzle the crowds, bringing hip hop’s essence to life through mind-blowing displays.
Of course, it would only be a party with the beats that move your feet and the scrumptious food and drinks that keep you going all night long. The Universal Hip Hop Museum has pulled out all the stops to make this a memorable experience for everyone in attendance.
So, head to the official website to check out the complete list of performances because this is one event you want to attend. It is a time to come together to celebrate the vibrant spirit of hip hop as its origins are honored, and its boundless future is embraced.
2. [R]Evolution of Hip Hop Exhibition
The [R]Evolution of Hip Hop Exhibition is FREE in August.
- Schedule: Tue—Sat 12 to 7 PM + Sun 1 to 6 PM.
- Venue: Universal Hip Hop Museum, Terminal Market, 610 Exterior Street—Bronx
Thirsty for Hip Hop?
As we journey through time at the Universal Hip Hop Museum, where nostalgia meets cutting-edge technology. This is different from your ordinary museum experience. It is an interactive digital coup that will immerse you in the rich history of hip hop like never before.
Step into the mesmerizing world of the metaverse, powered by Microsoft, as you become a part of a telltale session like none other. The future meets the past as you explore the golden era of hip hop music from 1986 to 1990. Get ready to dive into the heart of the five fundamentals that shaped the genre: Knowledge, Breakdancing, MCing, DJing, and Aerosol Art.
Feel the beats, witness the moves, and embrace the essence of hip-hop as you encounter firsthand experiences of the maestros who laid the foundation for this cultural phenomenon. From Big Daddy Kane to Run DMC, from the Beastie Boys to many more legendary artists. Their archives come to life before your eyes as they celebrate 50 years of hip hop.
But that is not all. Prepare to be blown away by the street fashion that defined the era. Explore iconic styles curated by fashion pioneers like Dapper Dan and other trendsetters who made a mark on hip hop culture.
So, gather, get everyone together, pull out your dancing shoes, and come experience hip-hop history in a whole new light. The Universal Hip Hop Museum awaits your presence to celebrate the past, embrace the present, and shape the future of this dynamic and influential genre. Do not miss out on this unforgettable journey.
3. “Birth of a Culture” Concert
- Schedule: August 4, 5 to 9 PM
- Venue: Crotona Park—Bronx
Prepare to be swept off your feet at this heartwarming concert, a personal favorite for all the right reasons. It is a fusion of storytelling and music history. Not forgetting the culture, and voguish innovations that promises to leave you spellbound. Welcome to the free SummerStage show at Crotona Park. It is where you will have the privilege of meeting none other than Grandmaster Flash and his extraordinary companions.
Get ready to immerse yourself in the epic tale of the birth of hip hop straight from the creators themselves. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stand face-to-face with the legends who revolutionized the art of spinning records and mixing sounds with turntables half a century ago.
Joining Grandmaster Flash are a constellation of stars, including DJ Charlie Chase, Tony Touch, Jazzy Jay, and a host of other seasoned veterans. Together, they will take the stage by storm, delivering a performance that will transport you through time.
But that is not all that awaits you. Feast your eyes on the live graffiti art by James Top. He is popularly known as JEE 2, the renowned muralist of Brooklyn. His creations breathe life into the streets and add excitement to this already electrifying event.
So, mark your calendars and spread the word to all hip-hop enthusiasts to celebrate 50 years of hip hop. This concert promises to be an experience. It is where music meets history, and legends come alive to create an unforgettable night under the stars. Do not miss the chance to be a part of this extraordinary celebration.
4. “Hip Hop Til Infinity”
- Schedule: August 2 through September 17
- Venue: Hall des Lumières, 49 Chambers Street—Civic Center
Are you ready to be blown away by a mind-blowing immersive exhibition like never before? Step into the awe-inspiring 30,000-sq-ft floor space at Hall des Lumières. It is where an extraordinary collaboration between Superbien, Mass Appeal, and Sony Music Entertainment awaits you. Together, they have curated an audiovisual extravaganza that takes you on an unforgettable journey through the diverse realms of hip hop.
Prepare to be transported from skate parks to grand stages. And even to virtual platforms as you delve into the rich tapestry of hip-hop culture across various regions and eras. It is a state-of-the-art presentation that blends cutting-edge technology with the soulful beats defining this genre.
Get ready to be a part of the action with interactive programs that let you engage and interact with the captivating displays. Ever dreamt of meeting your favorite artists? Well, this is your chance. The artist meets, and greet sessions will bring you face to face with the very legends who have shaped hip hop’s history.
As if that was not enough, brace yourself for live conversations that offer unique insights and behind-the-scenes stories straight from the artists themselves. And for the grand finale, virtual concerts will feature both the rising stars and the veterans, delivering performances that will leave you in awe.
But wait, there is more. The digital presentation powered by metaverse technology will unlock unseen archives of the most famed artists, giving you exclusive glimpses of their creative process and personal journeys.
So, get ready to immerse yourself in the magic of hip hop. This exhibition promises to be an experience of a lifetime, where music, art, and technology unite to create an unforgettable celebration of one of the most influential cultures in history.
5. Hip Hop 50 Live
- Schedule: August 11—4:30 PM
- Venue: Yankee Stadium, 1 East 161st Street—Bronx
Hip hop lovers, are you ready? Experience the most sensational event of the year that will leave you swooning with delight. Yankee Stadium is the place to be on this momentous anniversary day. The stage will be set on fire with star-spangled performances by the biggest hip hop icons of all time.
Prepare to be blown away as the first lady of hip hop, Cindy Campbell takes the stage alongside her brother, the legendary Kool Herc. And the mesmerizing Grandmaster Caz and a host of other hip-hop pioneers. This “Pillars of Hip Hop” set promises to be an unforgettable showcase of talent and history.
But that is not all. Brace yourself for an all-women extravaganza in the “Queens of Hip Hop” set. Experience the fearless and influential women of hip hop— the fierce and fabulous Eve, the iconic Lil Kim, the unstoppable Remy Ma, the sizzling Trina, and many other queens who have made their mark in this male-dominated industry will be featured.
And wait, there is more. The lineup from the organizers is packed with big names that will have you on your feet, dancing and grooving all night. Get ready to witness electrifying performances by Run DMC, the charismatic T.I., the one and only Fat Joe, the legendary Clark Kent, the dynamic Mannie Fresh, and many more to be announced. Keep your eyes peeled and stay tuned for the exciting updates.
So, grab your tickets because this is a hip-hop event you would not want to miss for the world. Yankee Stadium will become the ultimate hip-hop haven, where history, talent, and celebration collide in one epic night. See you there.
6. Trusted Mic Hip-Hop Fridays
- Schedule: Every Friday—5 to 10 PM
- Venue: Somewhere Nowhere—Chelsea
Want the best of hip-hop throughout the year?
Somewhere Nowhere is where music comes alive with a curated lineup that promises to captivate your soul. Prepare for an unforgettable live show by The Rakiem Walker Project Band. But that is not all; the excitement does not stop there.
Every Friday transforms into a magical experience as leading rappers take the stage alongside amazingly talented amateurs and surprise guests. The energy in the air is electric, the lights dance to the rhythm, and the vibes are simply irresistible.
As you immerse yourself in soul-stirring melodies, treat your taste buds to mouthwatering delicacies that will leave you craving more. Every aspect of this event is designed to elevate your senses, from delectable dishes to a range of assorted cocktails.
So, gather your friends and join us at Somewhere Nowhere for a night of pure bliss. Let the music take you on a journey, and let the ambiance sweep you off your feet. This is not just another live show; it’s an experience that will stay with you long after the night is over. Get ready to be moved, get prepared to be entertained, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Business Casual—No shorts, sweatpants, sportswear, hats, or flip-flops. The dress code is MANDATORY for all attendees.
7. Real Rap: Hip-Hop Star Power on Screen
- Schedule: July 28 through October 21
- Venue: Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue—Queens
Watch hip-hop history unfold on the big screen at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. This special screening series is a collection of films that will take you through the decades. It features legendary artists who have left an unforgettable mark on the culture and worth experiencing.
Immerse yourself in the world of hip hop as you watch iconic movies that showcase the talent and charisma of some of the biggest names in the hip hop industry. From Snoop Dogg in “Baby Boy” to Queen Latifah in “Just Wright,” from Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur in “Poetic Justice” to Ice Cube and Eve in “Barbershop,” each film is a treasure trove of hip hop greatness..
But the fun does not stop at the movies. This series has so much more to offer. Engage in thought-provoking discussions that delve into the cultural impact of hip-hop and its evolution over the years. And that is not all —get your groove on at the summer dance party where you can let loose and dance to the beats that have defined generations.
Whether you are a die-hard hip-hop fan or just someone looking for an enriching and entertaining experience, this curated iterations has something for everyone. So, mark your calendars and celebrate hip hop at the Museum of the Moving Image. Let us honor the legends, embrace the culture, and create memories that will resonate for years.
8. Summer for the City Hip Hop Week
- Schedule: August 9 through 12
- Venue: Lincoln Center
This event has everything from breakdancing battles that will defy gravity to soul-stirring music that will move your heart at the Lincoln Center. But that is not all. Get ready to be dazzled by the latest trends in hip hop fashion, captivated by powerful story times and poetry readings, and enlightened by workshops that will ignite your creativity.
Hold onto your seats as hip-hop legends take the stage and charge up the atmosphere with their incredible talent. The one and only Rakim, the legendary Big Daddy Kane, the masterful DJ J.PERIOD, and the acclaimed Brazilian musician/composer Arthur Verocai are just a few of the big names set to make this week unforgettable.
And let us not forget the exciting DJ Spinna, who will keep the energy alive with an epic silent disco experience. Picture the crowd dancing to the same beats, connected through music in a unique way.
But that is not all—prepare to witness some jaw-dropping street dance moves as the top 8 finalists battle it out for a cash prize during the street dance competition. It is a dance-off that will have you on the edge of your seat, cheering for your favorites.
So, clear your schedule and head to Lincoln Center for a hip-hop week that will redefine your summer! This is an experience that will fill your soul with joy, inspiration, and the undeniable spirit of hip hop.
9. Genius IQ/BBQ
- Schedule: August 19—12 to 10 PM
- Venue: Knockdown Center—Queens
Get ready for an explosive end-of-summer celebration like never before! The stage is set for the fourth edition of the Genius IQ/BBQ event; this time, it is bigger and better than ever. Genius, the ultimate online music encyclopedia, has joined forces with Infiniti, Paco Rabanne, Patron El Alto, and Paramount+ to bring you a day-long live concert experience that will leave you mesmerized.
Expect nothing short of sheer brilliance as the sequential power-packed performances light up the stage. The buzz is already building, and fans can’t wait to see the hip-hop maestros take the spotlight. All eyes will be on the incomparable 2 Chainz, the fierce and unapologetic 21 Savage, and the sensational Doja Cat, among many other incredible artists.
This is your chance to be a part of an unforgettable musical journey, and the best part? Tickets are free, but you better act fast! Secure your spot now by RSVPing to ensure you get this one-of-a-kind extravaganza. It’s time to immerse yourself in the magic of Genius IQ/BBQ and create memories that will resonate long after the event. Get ready to be blown away.
Grab your free ticket. RSVPs are open now.
10. Hip-Hop 50th Anniversary Weekend at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn
- Schedule: August 11 + 12—7 PM
- Venue: Prospect Park
Get ready for a mind-blowing two-day extravaganza that celebrates the power and talent of women, femmes, and queer communities. This event is the talk of the town. It features stunning performances, DJ battles, amateur showcases, competitions, and so much more.
But the excitement does not end there. The stage is about to ignite with the electrifying presence of Digable Planets, who are all set to grace us with their Afrofuturist Hip Hop. It is a celebration of 50 glorious years of hip hop. Combined with the magic of their seminal debut, Reachin, which turns 30.
Fans of Kari Faux are in for a treat. She takes the spotlight to perform songs from her latest album. REAL B*TCHES DON’T DIE. Her soulful beats and powerful lyrics are sure to leave you wanting more.
And just when you thought it could not get any better, brace yourself for the eclectic and mesmerizing Brown Sugar performance, which is ready to take the stage by storm!
But wait, there’s still so much more to explore at the site! The energy, the talent, and the unforgettable moments await you. And guess what? Entry is absolutely free, but if you want to elevate your experience, make sure to RSVP for VIP tickets and enjoy an extra touch of exclusivity.
So mark your calendars, and prepare to be blown away at this epic music, art, and community celebration. This is one event you would want to attend for the world. It is to honor the past, embrace the present, and shape the future of Hip Hop in a way that has never been done before.
While entry is free—RSVP for VIP tickets.
11. 5X5 Block Party Series
- Schedule: August 5—Brooklyn + August 6—Queens—August 12—Bronx [3 to 9 PM
- Venue: Brooklyn—Fulton Street & Washington Avenue, Queens—Vernon Boulevard + 41st Avenue, and The Bronx—1520 Sedgwick Avenue
Get ready to experience a revolutionary celebration as Mayor Eric Adams and ITSALLBLACKMUSIC PRESENTS join forces to bring the electrifying 5×5 block party series to all five boroughs of New York City. Brace yourself for an unforgettable experience as the Bronx-born rapper KRS-One takes center stage, setting the atmosphere on fire with his mesmerizing performance.
But that is not all. These free block parties are more than just on-stage entertainment—they are a true feast for the senses. Get ready to be immersed in a world of street art that will ignite your creativity. An interactive session that will leave you engaged and inspired. DJ sets that will keep you grooving all night long and educational discussions that will broaden your horizons.
And let us not forget the mouthwatering food that awaits you. It adds a delicious touch to the fiesta. Amidst all the fun and excitement, these events are also about community gatherings bringing people together to celebrate culture, music, and unity.
So, gather your friends and family, and make your way to these incredible block parties that promise to be an experience. It is time to embrace the spirit of New York City and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture.
12. SummerStage Hip Hop 50 Special Edition
- Schedule: August 6—4 PM
- Venue: Coney Island Amphitheater—3052 West 21st Street
Get ready to immerse yourself in the ultimate hip hop celebration at SummerStage as they honor the golden anniversary of this cultural phenomenon. This year’s edition promises to be a powerful fusion of emerging talent sharing the stage with iconic artists. All delivering successive performances that will leave you in awe.
From soul-stirring solo tracks to epic group renditions. The lineup boasts an array of hip hop connoisseurs, including legends like Special Ed, Nice N Smooth, Rah Digga, Rampage, Sweet Tee, MC Sparky D, and many others.
As if that was not enough, the event will be hosted by none other than the veteran DJ and music video director, Ralph McDaniels, adding an extra layer of excitement to the festivities. And here is the best part—entry is free for the public. So, please spread the word, and join us as we come together to celebrate the timeless spirit of hip-hop and create memories that will last a lifetime.
13. “For the Love” Concert
- Schedule: August 10—8 to 10 PM
- Venue: Knockdown Center—Queens
It is the ultimate celebration of hip hop as Pandora and SiriusXM unite to bring you the electrifying “For the Love” concert. The legendary Wu-Tang Clan headlines the show. This event is tailor-made for 21+ fans who are in for a day-long musical festival.
But the excitement does not stop there. The festivities start with “For the Love: Community Giveback,” a heartwarming, family-friendly program that sets the stage for what will come. As the day unfolds, get ready to be immersed in a whirlwind of acts performed by some of the hottest DJs, including DJing, DJ Superstar Jay, DJ Wallah, DJ Taj, and others.
And finally, it is a homecoming for the Wu-Tang Clan, the iconic hip-hop group that originated in Staten Island. Brace yourself for a mind-blowing two-hour performance that will be nothing short of a high-voltage spectacle. The stage will come alive with their signature sound and undeniable charisma, taking you through hip hop history.
This is not just a concert; it is an experience that celebrates the love of music, the power of community, and the timeless influence of hip hop. So, mark your calendars, and prepare to be blown away by the Wu-Tang Clan’s unforgettable performances. It is time to feel the love and embrace the magic of hip hop.
14. Hip Hop at 50
- Schedule: June 7 through October 31
- Venue: 22 Fulton Street, windows on the corner of Fulton + Front Streets—Seaport
It is a time capsule of hip hop history at the exclusive “Hip Hop at 50” photography exhibit, making its grand debut at the Photoville Festival, right in the heart of the Seaport. Get ready to be transported back to the electrifying era of the 80s, captured through the lens of the legendary British-born photographer, Janette Beckman.
This exhibit is a treasure trove of rare and highly valued snapshots. It features iconic rising stars and pioneers of hip hop. From the legendary trio Run DMC to the storytelling genius Slick Rick. And from the trailblazing duo Salt-N-Pepa to the groundbreaking Grandmaster Flash, let us not forget the one and only LL Cool J. Each image tells a captivating story of the genre’s golden years.
Prepare to be captivated by the raw talent, the vibrant energy, and the indomitable spirit that defined hip-hop in its formative years. It is a celebration of the artists who paved the way for the global cultural phenomenon we know and love today.
So, do not miss your chance to witness this extraordinary collection of photographs that brings to life the soul and essence of hip hop’s golden era. Step into the world of legends and be a part of history at “Hip Hop at 50.”
15. “50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop Night”
- Schedule: August 10—7:30 to 9:30 PM
- Venue: Circle Line Cruise—Midtown, Pier 83, West 42nd Street
Set sail on an electrifying journey of dance and music. The Circle Line boating company brings back the much-anticipated dance cruises after last year’s overwhelming success during the Summer Dance Series. And this year, they are kicking off the celebrations in style with a hip hop anniversary party on August 10. Picture yourself on a boat, surrounded by the glistening night sky, as you groove to two hours of adrenaline-pumping beats that will keep you moving all night long.
But that is not all. This dance party is more than just music. Sip on classy cocktails and savor delectable snacks while being mesmerized by none other than the sensational Missy Eliot and her exhilarating performances. And if you want to perfect your moves, do not worry; Byron from B. Free Dance will be there to teach you some killer steps. But the fun does not stop there. Get ready to dance your heart out to all-time hits spun by none other than the legendary DJ SPINDERELLA.
So, grab your dancing shoes and get ready to dance the night away under the stars. This is an experience you would not want to miss, where music, dance, and a magical setting come together to create memories that will last a lifetime.
16. Uptown Bounce Block Parties
- Schedule: August 3—6 to 9 PM
- Venue: 1230 5th Avenue—East Harlem
Get ready for an epic celebration in Manhattan as El Museo del Barrio, the Museum of the City of New York, and Africa Center come together to commemorate Hip Hop 50 and 10 years of Uptown Bounce. This is the ultimate fusion of culture, history, and music, with exhilarating block parties that will have you grooving all day long. But that is not all. These three incredible museums have an exciting surprise for you—free access to their captivating exhibits throughout the event.
Do not miss the chance to witness the living legend, Grandmaster Caz, one of the founding members of hip hop, as he takes the stage live at the Museum of the City of New York. Get ready for an electrifying experience with DJ sets that will keep the energy high, art-making that will unleash your creativity, dance parties that will get you moving. But there will be tons of fun that will make this day one for the books.
The best part? It is all free for everyone. Just go ahead and RSVP to secure your spot and participate in this historic celebration. This event brings together hip hop’s past, present, and future in one unforgettable experience.
RSVP to confirm your reservation. It is free for all.
Celebrating 50 years of hip hop is a time-travel where memories come alive. The birth of hip-hop at that bustling birthday bash in The Bronx set the stage for a historic revolution in music. DJ Kool Herc’s soul-stirring beats ignited a cultural phenomenon that would change the world. Now, 50 years later, we celebrate this groundbreaking movement that has touched every corner of the globe. Let us honor the pioneers and visionaries who shaped the course of music history forever.