Every year, New York City happily celebrates National Hip Hop History Month, showing the world the wonder of hip-hop music. For 2023, however, they're kicking it up a notch in honor of the music genre's 50th anniversary. Partnering with the up-and-coming Universal Hip Hop Museum, Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright explained that the city plans to have "a host of events and activities during 2023." Here's everything we know so far about the yearlong, city-wide celebrations.
"Happy birthday to hip hop. Hip hop turning 50, we're going to have a celebratory party like we've never witnessed before. The birth of hip hop is here in New York City," NYC mayor Eric Adams announced. Elaborating further, the Universal Hip Hop Museum's Executive Director Rocky Bucano detailed what people can expect. "Everything from youth empowerment programs, social justice programs to try to reduce the gun violence in New York City, creative programs for art making and creative placemaking, dance classes, concerts," he said. Bucano also mentioned that the schedule would include a massive concert in Central Park. All across the city, for the entirety of 2023, Hip Hop music will be honored.
The event is backed by some of Hip Hop's greatest icons, who have come forward with their support of the festivities. "Education is the fifth element of hip hop, and that will be represented in this celebration as well," noted Ralph McDaniels from Video Music Box. Rapper Roxanne Shanté also expressed his support, encouraging people to join in on the action. "We will be 50 places, doing 50 things with over 50 people, and we hope to see 50 million, please believe it," she said.
The Universal Hip Hop Museum, which is set to open its doors in 2024, is located in the Bronx, long known to be the birthplace of Hip Hop. According to Bucano, "it will be one of the most advanced, technology-driven museums in the history of New York City. It will be documenting, preserving, and celebrating the story of 50 years of hip-hop history." Until the celebrations are officially underway, we recommend checking out the museum's teaser exhibit,'(R)Evolution of hip-hop,' located across from the main museum. Stay tuned for all the details to come.