In 1973, DJ Kool Herc threw a party at 1520 Sedgewick Avenue, which has since become the time and place people believe hip-hop was born. In celebration of this event’s 50th anniversary, Mass Appeal and Live Nation Urban are teaming up to host ‘Hip-Hop 50 Live’, a concert dedicated to the genre of rap music and the culture, headlined by Run-DMC.
Taking place in the Bronx at the Yankee Stadium, a mere 15-minute walk from the exact location Kool Herc first began playing the breaks of funk records. Now some of the genre’s biggest names will be taking to the Yankee Stadium stage to honour the genre and celebrate its incredible evolution, and Run-DMC will be the headlining act.
Run-DMC’s Joseph ‘Rev Run’ Simmons and Darryl DMC’ McDaniels are set to perform a medley of their greatest hits and may even bring out some special guests. In a January interview with online music publication Rock The Bells, McDaniels declared, “Run-DMC is over” and insisted that “The final show that we are ever going to do is going to be at Madison Square Garden in April.” However, it seems as if fans of the 1980s trio will get to see the group one more time at ‘Hip-Hop 50 Live.’
However, although only certain emcees and DJs will perform, the event will highlight and pay tribute to every integral hip-hop figure and pioneer that has contributed to the growth and advancement of the genre. Individuals such as DJ Kool Herc & Cindy Campbell, Grandmaster Caz, Kurtis Blow, Melle Mel, Roanne Shante, Scorpio and will make appearances on stage and will be honoured.
Although ‘Hip-Hop 50 Live’ is officially declaring Herc’s 1973 party as the start of the genre, in 2017, Grandmaster Flash put out a video in which he explained the growth of hip-hop and how every individual considered a pioneer added something. He called on Herc to clarify that multiple people, including himself, Grand Wizard Theodore and Afrika Bambaataa, built upon the idea of mixing breaks and that Herc, by allowing 1973 and his event to be considered the start of hip-hop is distorting the nuanced reality of how hip-hop came into existence.
Irrespective of that 2017 letter, the 1973 narrative has continued to prevail, and, as such, ‘Hip-Hop 50 Live’ will be inviting the likes of Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Ice Cube, Fat Joe and Ghostface Killah and others to perform in celebration of the day at the Yankee stadium.
Taking to Instagram the events organisers wrote, “WE ARE THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE HIP HOP 50 LIVE: A STAR-STUDDED CONCERT FEATURING @rundmc‘s “BOTTOM OF THE NINTH…THE WALK-OFF” PERFORMANCE, @liltunechi @snoopdogg @icecube AND MANY MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED!! IT’S GOING DOWN ON THE DAY IT BEGAN IN THE BRONX, WHERE IT ALL STARTED.” Tickets will be available to purchase from Friday, June 9th.