As part of Good Morning America‘s celebration of hip-hop turning 50 and their summer concert series, Fat Joe, Remy Ma, Busta Rhymes, and BIA put on a performance live from Central Park on August 11.
Fashion, which often evolved alongside hip-hop artists like Lil Kim, Missy Elliott and pioneers like Grandmaster Flash was also well represented. According to Billboard, Bustle Digital Group’s Senior Vice-President of Fashion Tiffany Reed and stylist Joe Zee hosted a fashion show spotlighting some of hip-hop’s notable contributions to fashion. The two discussed contributions from Busta Rhymes, Lil Kim, Missy Elliott, and others that created a marriage between the streets and the world of high fashion.
Later that night, there were more festivities planned at Yankee Stadium. As Billboard reported, Hip-Hop 50 Live featured a who’s-who list of performers, spanning the history of hip-hop: Run DMC, Ice Cube, Lil Wayne, and Snoop Dogg were among those slated to share the spotlight celebrating hip-hop’s 50th birthday. The event also featured sets designed to honor the Queens of HIp-Hop and Pillars of Hip-Hop. Co-produced by Live Nation, Mass Appeal, and the New York Yankees and presented by Google Pixel and Ciroc, Hip-Hop 50 Live’s impressive list of corporate sponsors shows just how far the genre has come from its beginnings in the Bronx.
An official start date for hip-hop is just about impossible to ascertain, but most oral legends place the start on August 11, 1973, when DJ Kool Herc was responsible for spinning records at a party in The Bronx. Herc’s sister Cindy threw the party along with DJ Herc, and after the party spilled over into nearby Cedar Playground Park, hip-hop was born. Originally, the party was a back-to-school party thrown at 1520 Sedgewick Avenue in the rec room of his family’s project tenement building. As XXL reported, Herc debuted a technique known as “the break,” which is where the term “break-dancing” originated from. The break consists of a DJ isolating and looping a part of a track with heavy percussion that would have the effect of getting people out on the dance floor.
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The fact that Cindy helped throw the party is not a footnote, but her role in the story is often overlooked when the origins of hip-hop are discussed. Washington Post writer Helena Andrews-Dyer briefly noted this in a piece centering on director dream hampton and her view of how hip-hop has historically treated women. Hampton noted that the women of hip-hop are in a much better position to succeed today because they are largely independent of the kinds of co-signs that a female artist would have needed in the past. “But I will say that there’s never been a more exciting time for women in hip-hop than right now. That whole one at a time thing, the idea that you had to be embedded in a crew or had to be co-signed by a man? All of that is gone.”