We hope you all are gathered in The Bronx, or currently making your way Uptown, to join us at Cedar Playground today as we celebrate the birth of Hip-Hop with the father himself, DJ Kool Herc.



It was on this day 46 years ago (August 11, 1973) that Kool Herc threw his legendary back-to-school basement party, which would go on to create the foundation for rap through the “breakbeat” DJ technique he used to keep the party rocking. Many aspiring emcees at the time paired ‘the break’ with the rhymes flowing through their minds, jumpstarting a sound and movement that is now considered to be the most popular genre in music.

While it’s common knowledge that it all began in a rec room of his building on 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, there was another iconic venue that became a key to cultivating both Hip-Hop culture and NYC nightlife: The Black Door. Located at 1375 Prospect Ave, the rap-centric hotspot became the official meeting grounds for those intrigued by the lifestyle that was booming in The Bronx. While the days since Black Door parties had the whole BX standing lined up around the corner until almost sunrise just to get in are long gone, the venue is now considered to be an official “Neighborhood Asset” as stated in a recent report on the influence of Morissana by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.

Take a look below for a quick profile on The Black Door, via NYC.gov:

In the mid-1970s, soon after DJ Kool Herc had begun spinning records in the Sedgwick Avenue Rec Room, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five began gigging at a small, new underground venue called “The
Black Door.” It was a safe haven, near the schoolyards and abandoned buildings where Flash and his crew had won fans. “Lines used to stretch around the block” and “…we’d be opening the doors at 4 in the morning getting cursed out. ‘Flash, I’ve been standing out here forever tryin’ to get in!’”

It’s because of unforgettable nights at The Black Door, along with those warehouse parties, basement bashments and schoolyard jams at 63 Park that Herc, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five were curating, that a day like today is so important to celebrate. Here’s to another five decades of carrying on the movement!



Be sure to join us as we honor DJ Kool Herc this coming week at our SOURCE360 Festival! Reserve your tickets for all scheduled events by clicking here.