Hollywood Live: 50 Years ago today was the birth of hip hop

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A street sign at Bronx's Sedgwick Houses apartments is shown renamed as Hip Hop Blvd, recognizing the site where hip hop's creator DJ Kool Herc first held parties featuring his new sound, July 26, 2023, in New York. In the five decades since hip-hop emerged out of New York City, it has spread around the country and the world. And at each step there's been change and adaptation, as new, different voices came in and made it their own. Its foundations are steeped in the Black communities where it first made itself known but it's spread out until there’s no corner of the world that hasn’t been touched by it. Hip-hop has impacted everything: Art, culture, fashion, community, social justice, politics, sports, business. This year is being marked as a 50th anniversary celebration. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
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On August 11, 1973, it was another hot day in the Bronx, New York. Cindy Campbell decided to throw a back-to-school party in the rec room on Sedgwick Avenue.

Campbell was 15 at the time, and she solicited her older brother, Clive, whom everyone knew as “DJ Kool Herc.”

Well, Herc had a serious boombox and saw how the scene was hopping during the song’s breaks. That meant that the DJ started going from one song break to another, and that’s usually the drumbeat or the rhythm interludes of any soul and funk records.

Well, honey, folks went off as he kept delighting the crowd, that was the birth of the hip hop beat. 50 years later it is still going strong.

You know, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with many of the hip hop icons over the years, but none has matched the popularity of my interview with hip hop king Tupac Shakur. It’s been used in numerous documentaries about the genre, including the most recent, “Dear Mama.”

We also won an Oscar nomination with the original documentary, “Tupac Resurrection.” You can check out all of these on YouTube, ’cause you know they got everything.

But as we look back at 50 years of an art form that grew out of despair, you gotta remember, we still have a long way to go to right many of the wrongs the music was based on. So everybody, stay woke.

And for all these stories and a whole lot more, don’t forget to follow Tanya Hart on social media @tanyahollywood and @aurnonline.


Click play to hear the Hollywood Live report from Tanya Hart:

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