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The 1A Record Club commemorates 50 years of hip-hop (Rebroadcast)

Photo by Gordon Cowie on Unsplash
Photo by Gordon Cowie on Unsplash

It’s hard to remember a time where hip-hop wasn’t a mainstay of American music.

Nowadays, hip-hop is many things – unapologetic, lyrical, rhythmic, and above all, ubiquitous.

Since its nebulous “creation” at a party in the Bronx in 1973, hip-hop has become one of the world’s most popular genres and cultural expressions.

The party flyer for Clive Campbell’s, better known as DJ Kool Herc, Back to School Jam that is credited with birthing modern hip-hop.

In the decades since rappers like Kurtis Blow and Run DMC topped the charts, hip-hop has evolved drastically. It’s given way to various subgenres – like gangsta rap and drill – and provided the means for talented emcees to be heard around the world.

But hip-hop doesn’t exist without its controversy. The genre has been seen by many since its inception as a tool to further misogyny, violence and capitalist exploitation.

What does the origin story of hip-hop tell us about its power as an art form? What might the future of hip-hop look like?

We convene a panel of experts to discuss.

While you’re here, we’ve compiled a playlist of 1A’s hip-hop favorites.

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

Lauren Hamilton