KRS-One, a renowned pioneer of hip hop and an activist, author, and philosopher, will return to the Community Center at 1520 Sedgwick, the birthplace of the genre. KRS-One will direct a number of community-based events, including a masterclass in hip hop, as part of the launch of Birthplaceofhiphop.nyc.


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Hip-hop’s soul and present expressions will also be highlighted and celebrated in the classes and pop-up displays, in addition to its origins. The tale started in the summer of 1973 at a back-to-school fundraiser held in the community center of a low-income housing complex at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue. After 50 years and despite its modest beginnings, this energy is alive and well worldwide and has been portrayed in poetry, music, dance, and other kinds of art. Hip Hop is a movement that is unique in terms of the breadth of its impact.

KRS-One will officially inaugurate the celebration that will take place on August 11 and beyond on April 25 by joining local officials, renters, and the building’s owners. The celebration will feature the art form that serves as the hub of the global cultural phenomenon known as Hip Hop. He will host a series of educational programs including Hip-Hop’s major “cultural contributors.”

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“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. 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,” said KRS-One.

In addition, KRS-One and Birthpalceofhiphop.nyc are calling for the global Hip-Hop community to participate in a logo celebration celebrating the culture’s 50th anniversary. The winning design will honor the aspects of hip-hop required to commemorate its 50th anniversary and to motivate upcoming generations to develop and spread its message. Information on the contest can be found here.

KRS- One added, “I’m especially excited about this global logo contest, we’re calling all creatives, designers, graffiti artists to show us their best representation of what Hip Hop is. As Hip Hop marks this historic milestone, we look to this generation of Hip Hop creatives, designers and enthusiasts, to create the official logo of Hip Hop’s 50th Anniversary.”

You can learn more about the birth of Hip-Hop here.