You’ve heard and reheard the story. Hip hop got its start one fateful night — August 11, 1973 — at a Bronx house party. Since then, Philly of the past, present and future has been as hip hop as anywhere. And we have plenty of things to do over its 50th celebration week.
First, a little Philly history. Here in the City of Brotherly Love, hip hop started back with Lady B and Schooly D (who are both 60-something, if you can believe). Not far behind: The Roots’ Questlove, Black Thought and Dice Raw, Bahamadia, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (remember when we cared about the Grammys and Will and Jeff won the first one for rap?) and the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. Philly’s where Eve and Santigold and Jill Scott got their start. Same with Beanie Sigel, Khemist, Freeway, Meek Mill.
If Tierra Whack, Lil Uzi Vert and 2rare are Philly’s hip hop present, who’s in our future? Find out this weekend with showcase events featuring all kinds of local talent — breakers, rappers, graffiti artists, MCs. While you’re there, nodding along, feel the Philly pride.
CELEBRATE A MUSICAL GENRE’S 50th ANNIVERSARY IN + WITH PHILLY
SEE 50 YEARS THROUGH INTERACTIVE ART. Hip Hop 50, a multimedia exhibition hosted by Thomcat23 at Cherry Street Pier runs through August 26, showcasing art inspired by the music genre. Free.121 N. Columbus Boulevard
DANCE IT OUT WITH CHILL MOODY. The third install of Chill’s Downstage @ the Mann, August 10 at 8pm, does up a dance party with DJs Aktive, Cash Money, and Shorty Wop, along with Moody himself and the Project Positive Dance Crew. $12-$37. 5201 Parkside Avenue
CATCH KAYCYY. More than a Ye, Travis Scott, Lil Baby or Lil Wayne collaborator, the up-and-comer — up-and-came? — KayCyy comes to Philly on his The Who Else?! Tour for an intimate performance at The Foundry on August 11 at 8pm. $29.50. 29 E. Allen Street
BREAKDANCE, GRAFFITI, BEATS, EATS. Francisville Playground hosts Elements of Hip Hop, an 8-hour community day, August 12 from 11am to 7pm. Look for inflatables, face painting, Lil’ Trent’s, a video game truck, wellness services. Stay for a showcase of battling b-boys and b-girls, live mural- and graffiti-making, and MCs galore. Free, 1737 Francis Street
HIP HOP IN THE OVAL XP. Graffiti artist and Sunflower Philly co-founder Christian “TAMEARTZ” Rodriguez presents the second annual Hip Hop in the Park. On August 12 from noon to 8pm, graffiti, breakdancing, MCing and DJing take over the popped-up Oval XP. Free with RSVP. 2451 Ben Franklin Parkway
SEE FIFTY AND BUSTA IN JERSEY. Hey, hip hop, it’s your birthday. And the dudes behind In Da Club and Touch It come to Camden as part of Cent’s Final Lap tour. “Go, go, go, go, go. go …” H $29-$249. 1 Harbour Boulevard
CATCH DMC IN CONCERT — FOR FREE. South Street record shop Cratediggaz does up its genre’s 50th on August 13 from 3 to 5pm. DMC, The Xav, Fastlife Wully & DJ Too Tuff and Seraiah Nicole perform at an all-ages concert that doubles as a debut for a DMC Universe comic and DMC album, America. Free. 711 S. 4th Street
MORE ON PHILLY’S HIP HOP SCENE FROM THE CITIZEN