KRS-One Brings Hip-Hop History To the People, Specifically To Its Foundation At 1520 Sedgwick Avenue
Hip-hop rolls through its 50th birthday and inspires fans worldwide. The self-proclaimed ‘The Teacher’ KRS-One continues to show up for hip-hop as a participant and a teacher.
According to several reports, the Criminal Minded MC is returning to the community center at 1520 Sedwick in the Bronx. Through KRS-One’s Birthplaceofhiphop.nyc, the Boogie Down Productions member will organize programs at 1520 Sedgwick, such as classes centered on hip-hop and the history of hip-hop.
According to a press release obtained by Complex, the Bronx-raised MC said: “We used our creativity when they tried to stifle us. We created the culture because we wanted to stand out and stand up for our artistry. Hip-hop is the people’s movement. I am excited to showcase this to the world in the space where it all began at 1520 Sedgwick in the Community Center. It feels right to be here, where it all began.”
As the story goes, 1520 Sedwick was once the home of Clive Campbell, better known as DJ Kool Herc. On Aug. 11, 1973, Herc’s sister, Cindy Campbell, to earn extra money for school clothes, decided to host a “Back to School Jam” at the project’s community center. Kool Herc, known to have the loudest speakers in the BX, provided the music. During the party, Kool Herc displayed his merry-go-round DJ style, extending the breaks on records. This event is recognized as the birth of hip-hop.
“The 50th anniversary of hip-hop is a global movement that speaks to the grit, voice, and power of how it came to be in the first place—we used our voices when they tried to silence us,” KRS said.
Today, hip-hop is consumed by several millions of people from diverse backgrounds, but hip-hop was born out of the oppressive poverty that plagued the Bronx, Harlem, and other boroughs. As Jeff Chang shows in Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, hip-hop directly resulted from the construction of the Cross-Bromx Expressway. The construction of the CBE removed over 60,000 residents from the Bronx. Those who could afford to move relocated. However, many were forced to move into newly constructed housing projects in the South Bronx.
During an interview with AllHip-Hop.com, KRS said he would give regular updates on the events at the 1520 Sedgwick Community Center. He also told Allhiphop.com that he will seek help from “magazines, dictionaries, publishing houses, newspapers, et cetera—in addition to government officials and their agencies, to begin capitalizing hip-hop, as it is the name of our ‘culture.’”
The Ghetto Music rapper added: “This year, Hip Hop Appreciation Week occurs May 16–22. This, too, has a series of planned events to be announced at our April 25 press conference.”