The celebration of hip hop’s 50th birthday is still going strong, as the global genre remains the subject of events honoring the artists who shaped the music and its collective impact.
Saturday (Sept. 9) was no exception as 400 industry figures, rappers, politicians, and media members were invited to attend the “50 Years of Hip Hop” celebration at Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence in Washington, D.C.
The bash was put together in collaboration with the Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective and Live Nation Urban. Lil Wayne, Common, Fat Joe, Jeezy, MC Lyte, Roxanne Shante, Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, Wale, and Too Short were some of the acts in attendance.
“Hip hop is a celebration of Black joy, freedom, and liberation. It was my honor to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this ultimate American art form by hosting the first-ever hip hop event at the Vice President’s Residence,” tweeted Harris.
In her remarks at the event, she declared that hip hop is apart of the fabric of American culture. “Hip hop now shapes nearly every aspect of American popular culture, and it reflects the incredible diversity and ingenuity of the American people. I truly believe hip hop is one of America’s greatest exports,” said the vice president, as reported by Variety.
Earlier this year, the Grammys set the bar high for celebrations honoring the cultural contributions of the genre with its star-studded tribute that spanned hip hop’s beginnings to today’s rising talent.
Decades of musical representation were seen on the stage, from pioneering acts like Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC, and Ice T to Method Man, LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes, Lil Uzi Vert, and GloRilla. The medley of hits was curated by Questlove. The Roots drummer said on Twitter that the goal was to show the evolution from 1973 to 2023. The musician also explained that a conscious choice was made to honor those who were living.
Even more stars were present as they rocked the stage at the 2023 BET Awards hip hop tribute that included Uncle Luke, Trina, Chief Keef, Ying Yang Twins, Warren G, and E-40, to name a few.