Rolling Loud To Expand To Portugal In July 2020: A$AP Rocky, Future And Wiz Khalifa Announced As Headliners

Future performs at Rolling Loud 2019 in Oakland, Calif.

Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images


Rolling Loud To Expand To Portugal In July 2020: A$AP Rocky, Future And Wiz Khalifa Announced As Headliners

The three-day event, the festival's first-ever European edition, will also feature Lil Uzi Vert, Gucci Mane, Young Thug, Meek Mill, Roddy Ricch, Megan Thee Stallion, Rico Nasty and more

GRAMMYs/Feb 5, 2020 - 10:36 pm

Rolling Loud, the leading rap festival brand in the world, has today (Feb. 5) announced its latest expansion with Rolling Loud Portugal, its first-ever edition in Europe. The three-day festival, taking place July 8-10 at Praia da Rocha Beach in Portimao, The Algarve, Portugal, is stacked with today's top artists and next-gen stars in rap, including headliners A$AP Rocky, Future and Wiz Khalifa. The all-star lineup also features rap giants like Lil Uzi Vert, Gucci Mane, Young Thug, Meek Mill and Rae Sremmurd as well as fast-rising newcomers like DaBaby, Roddy Ricch, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Tecca and Rico Nasty, among many others.

The inaugural Rolling Loud Portugal festival will also feature performances from European artists, including AJ Tracey, Giggs, D Block Europe, M Huncho, Haiyti and Kelvyn Colt, as well as local Portuguese rappers Piruka, Yuzi, sippinpurpp, Minguito, and Lon3r Johny.

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Ahead of the Portugal edition, Rolling Loud will touch down in Miami, its original home, with a three-day festival, running May 8-10, featuring headliners A$AP Rocky, Coachella 2020 headliner Travis Scott and Post Malone.

Since debuting in 2015, Rolling Loud has become the premier festival destination for rap fans around the world. Founded by Matt Zingler and Tariq Cherif, the event began as a one-day festival in Miami and quickly grew as an international brand. Last October, the festival launched its debut New York City edition, which featured performances from Travis Scott, Meek Mill, Wu-Tang Clan, A$AP Rocky and Lil Uzi Vert, among others. Prior to that, in January 2019, Rolling Loud launched its inaugural event in Australia with a heavy lineup featuring Future, Lil Uzi Vert, YG, Tyga, Playboi Carti and others.

Pre-sale passes for the inaugural Rolling Loud Portugal 2020 go on sale Thursday, Feb. 6, at 8 a.m. GMT. General admission and VIP tickets go on sale Friday, Feb. 7, at 8 a.m. GMT.

To view the full lineup and to purchase tickets for Rolling Loud Portugal 2020, visit the festival's official website.

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Lil Tecca Is Making "Growner" Music On New Album 'Tec'
Lil Tecca

Photo: Garrett Bruce


Lil Tecca Is Making "Growner" Music On New Album 'Tec'

When live music returned, Lil Tecca experienced a creative flourishing. His new album, 'TEC,' consolidates and inventories everything that makes the MC tick.

GRAMMYs/Sep 26, 2023 - 01:22 pm

Lil Tecca may be barely old enough to drink, but he has reams of experience under his belt. He's a more advanced rapper than he was even a year ago: he doesn't risk life and limb onstage, like when he leapt offstage without shoes and almost broke his feet.

At 21, he's still hurtling forward — personally and creatively. "When I was 16, I was put in a little bit of a box, in a way," he tells "Like a Kidz Bop, Disney World kind of thing."

But his first two full-length projects, 2020's Virgo World and 2021's We Love You Tecca 2, put childish things to bed — and now, he's out with his most mature, cohesive album to date. In his word, it's "growner" than any of its predecessors.

Featuring guest appearances from Kodak Black ("Hvn on Earth") and Ken Carson ("Fell in Love"), TEC breezes through everything that makes Tecca, Tecca. The former single is a perfect example; he can effortlessly braid with a top-shelf MC while maintaining his individual voice and vibe.

"You're definitely going to feel a various amount of emotions throughout this project. There's hype songs; there's cocky songs; there's flexing; there's sad; there's insecure. There are songs where I'm trying to manifest my future."

Read on for an interview with Lil Tecca about his conception behind TEC; growing up listening to, then working with Kodak Black; and not getting in his own way creatively.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Tell me about your creative synergy with Kodak Black.

I think with the song "Hvn on Earth," we really just found a common place where we both fit in creatively. We didn't make [the song] at the same time. When I sent it to him, he told me he really liked the song.

When I first thought of him on the song, I was like, OK, maybe this is gonna be a cool record. I didn't really ever think of the creative synergy for real. I just thought of how good he would sound on a beat.

What is it about the qualities of his voice, or his artistry, that made him perfect?

Growing up listening to Kodak Black, I always noticed the bounce to his beats — that Florida-ish bounce.

I made the beat to this one. Not that it reminded me of it, but I kind of felt like his flow complemented it.

Since you grew up listening to Kodak Black, getting to collaborate with him must have been a huge moment.

Yeah, definitely. I definitely grew up listening to Kodak, around 15, 14. He was one of the first rappers [I listened to].

Creatively what was the seed that grew into TEC?

I was just working on my album; I didn't even have a name for it yet. It was a little bit after my 2022 tour. I was just so ready to drop something for this, around this time.

Honestly, creatively, I'm always working. But putting this project together kind of put a battery in my back. Because I gave it a demand; it was like a must-be-done thing.

Putting together the whole album, I was very focused on incorporating all my sounds into this one sound — not leaving anything behind. Just making sure everything grows with me as I grow, and sticking to my roots, for sure.

What was it about this moment that galvanized you to get something out there? I'm sure returning to live shows — the energy of those — contributed to that.

Yeah, 100 percent. I'm always trying to drop a project every single year. Being super busy in 2022 and not being able to drop one, I was like, I really wish I got to drop a project.

So, coming around 2023, I didn't give myself no choice.

For those who haven't seen you live before, what can they expect?

My shows are very, very active. I feel like my setlist is very diverse. There might be a few chill songs, like [my 2022 single] "Love Me" or "Want It Bad" off my new album. A lot of slow songs that might give the fans a break.

Because when it comes to the real hitting-hard songs — loud 808s, loud bass, everything — it's mosh pits; it's very active in the crowd.

I love my setlist. It even gives me time to breathe sometimes, when I need to breathe. So, it's definitely a trip, for real. It's not like you walk into the spot and you're just jumping. You walk in, you're singing, you're jumping — just having a good time.

From a performance standpoint, who in the rap world inspires you? Regarding those two qualities — diversity and energy.

I don't really look to anyone for motivation. I would say my fans motivate me the most.

I go off their energy a lot. Not that their energy is everything, because if I see people not jumping, I'm still going to rock out. But if I see them do going crazy, that's just another battery in the back for me to just go crazy.

But I definitely look back at my own film. I definitely be checking out Rolling Loud, seeing how the people who perform, like the headliners, do. But I'm really just learning from my own mistakes, for real.

Such as?

I've made so many mistakes to perform the way I do now.

I've had to jump off the stage with no shoes on and almost break my feet. I realized that you can't really just be jumping off the stage with no shoes like that. To see fans run up on me on stage, and my bodyguard tackle them right in front of me; I'm in the middle of singing my last song of the set.

Especially coming into this game, me and my whole team — we're our own OGs. We learned this the same way everyone else learned it; we had to make our own mistakes for all the people we get under our wing.

To tell them, "Hey, listen, you shouldn't do that. We had to do that; we had to get the consequences of doing that."

Every artist, every MC, has a different dynamic with their fans. What's yours?

I feel like my fans are just like me. And even if they're not just like me, they think they just like me.

I feel like we relate. And that's, like, 50 — if not 60 — percent of the reason why they liked me. The music I make is just the soundtrack to how we relate to each other, and what we're both going through.

When I think of my fans, I definitely think of myself, and all the people that look up to me. When I win, they win. So, it's that window of seeing that it's possible: Look at this dude; he just like me. He going crazy. He doing what he wants to do. I could do what I want to do.

Would you like to shout out any accompanists and producers on TEC?

Taz Taylor and Rio Leyva. Shout out to BNYX too, but mainly, Taz Taylor and Rio Leyva.

Rio Leyva is the brain. He's the person in the background who's on the computer all day, figuring out all the lab stuff. Everyone else is also putting in work all the time — Census, Nash, Noah. All the guys at Internet Money.

They're all just working in and out, jus trying to figure out new sounds — new ways we could push the genre, push the sound we created, all that.

Taz Taylor was my partner in crime throughout this whole project, creatively-wise. I trust that man's ear — sometimes, when I don't trust my ear. That's one of them guys right there. If he wasn't part of this process, this album probably would have dropped in 2025.

Why's that? Do you tend to get a little self-doubting? Did he help nudge you up the hill?

I never get self-doubting. If anything, I'm overly confident. Like, I think anything I've touched turned to gold.

Because the way I see life is, like, if you weren't born, there's so many things that wouldn't exist. That's how I see my life, so I never take credit away from it. I look at it as great.

Sometimes, you need those people around you — to be like, "Hey, listen: you might think this is great, but this is the one right here."

And sometimes, you've got to go with your gut, like, "Hey listen: I know what you're thinking about it, but this is how I think about it." You've got to have a little balance around you.

Lil Tecca

Lil Tecca. Photo: Cones

And can you talk about the guests on TEC, other than Kodak?

Yeah, Ken Carson on "Fell in Love." He's been one of my friends for years now. So, to have that song on a project — that's really just another song that one of my friends and I made.

It really has no backstory. We just went in the studio, and one day, cooked it up.

What was it about "Fell in Love" that made the people need to hear it.

I feel like every song we make is good. But sometimes, we be making songs where it's like, OK, this one has my sound really efficiently. Because we make music for ourselves at the end of the day, too.

How would you describe the various moods contained on TEC?

Everything's on there. Especially if you're paying attention to the sonics, and the overall mood of the songs, you're definitely going to feel that I was going through a bunch of stuff during this process.

Perhaps that's why it's called TEC. It seems to be a consolidation of all your different sides.

Yes, literally that. I'm condensed into: Here it is. I'm not speaking around it.

And especially, my friends call me Tec in real life. Nobody calls me Tecca. Well, maybe someone will walk up to me on the street and call me Tecca. I never hear my government name, ever. So, that might make it a little more personal — to just call it TEC.

It seems like you've never self-inventorized on record like this.

When you just practice and care about the craft, you get better over time. Even if I thought I was good a year ago, looking back now, I'm way better now.

I'm way better at speaking about what I'm going through and actually translating it in a way to where it's inviting people into my world, instead of just blurting information at people. Like, "Yo, I'm sad right now!" "Yo, I'm happy! I just bought a Gucci bag!"

I'm presenting it in a different way, where it's like, OK, you're spending 30 minutes with me. Let's take a trip real quick. It's not just random.

What happened in your creative life that facilitated this?

I think, over time, you just pass this threshold in whatever you do. You don't even know when you hit that little threshold. It's like you could just have a convo, convo, convo. It's just a flow now. It just becomes a part of your being that it's a natural thing. You don't even realize you're doing it. You hop in a flow state.

I'm also coming from: you do it for so long, you realize you're still here. You realize, no matter who think you're not going to be here this time, you're still here, just do what you're going to do. You don't want to look at when you're 90 years old and all your grandkids around you, you won't be thinking about no Instagram comments.

So, that's how we're going to do it for real. I really passed that threshold from just not caring, not getting in the way of the creativity or the process at all.

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Lil Yachty Wants You To Be "Ready For Everything" At The Field Trip Tour
Lil Yachty performs at Rolling Loud Miami in July 2023.

Photo: Jason Koerner/Getty Images


Lil Yachty Wants You To Be "Ready For Everything" At The Field Trip Tour

As Lil Yachty hits the road for his 42-date global tour, the rapper details how he'll be bringing his trippy album 'Let's Start Here' to life — and why he feels like his seven-year career is only just getting started.

GRAMMYs/Sep 25, 2023 - 06:11 pm

Fans first got to know Lil Yachty for his catchy, sing-songy tunes like "One Night" and "Minnesota," rap songs that sound like the rapper's once-signature red braids: bright and attention-getting. But as the man who once dubbed himself the "king of the teens" has now become a father in his (gasp!) mid-20s, his musical horizons have expanded. 

While Lil Boat is still making catchy tracks  (see his minute-and-a-half long earworm "Poland," released last fall), his latest album is something else entirely. Inspired by big statement LPs like Pink Floyd's 1973 classic Dark Side of the Moon, Lil Yachty's Let's Start Here is a psychedelic record created with members of Chairlift and MGMT, as well as Mac DeMarco, Alex G and a handful of other out-of-the-norm collaborators. While the style change may have been unexpected for many, it came out exactly as Yachty envisioned it.

"It felt future-forward, it felt different, it felt original, it felt fresh, it felt strong," he says. "I'm grateful for the response. It's nice to have people resonate with a body of work that you've worked so hard on and you care so deeply about."

Yachty's most recent release, a four-song single pack featuring the swirling "TESLA," brings him back to a more traditional hip-hop style — by Lil Boat standards, anyway. But even with the four new tracks sprinkled throughout the set list, he's still determined to share the sound and vibe of Let's Start Here with his listeners. 

The Field Trip Tour, which Lil Yachty kicked off in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 21, brings the album's trippy vision to the stage. The rapper recruited an all-women band for his latest trek, which includes Lea Grace Swinson and Romana R. Saintil on vocals, Monica Carter on drums, Téja Veal on bass, Quenequia Graves on guitar, and Kennedy Avery Smith on keys.

"My life is surrounded by women," Yachty explains. "I feel like they are the most important aspect to this world and that they don't get enough credit or shine — especially Black women." caught up with Yachty as he was on his way to rehearsal to chat about the tour, the album, and what he learned from four old British guys.

You made your band auditions public by announcing them on social media, which is not the usual way of going about these things. When you had the auditions, what was it like? How many people showed up?

Hundreds of women came from all over. People sent in auditions online. It was so fun to hear so much music and see talent and meet so many different personalities. I felt like Simon Cowell.

Other than musical ability, what were you looking for?

It was nothing more than talent. There would be multiple people with extreme talent, so then it became your own creative spunk: what did you do that made me say, "Oh, okay. I like this. I like this"? I wanted a badass group.

What was behind the decision to put the call out for women only? 

My life is surrounded by women — my two assistants, my mother as a manager, a lot of my friends are women. Women really help me throughout my day. 

I just think that women are so powerful. I feel like they rule the world. They are the most important aspect to this world and they don't get enough credit or shine, especially black women. So that was my aura behind it. I just wanted to showcase that women can shred just as good as men. 

Is the band going to be performing on your older rap material as well, in addition to the album cuts? 

No. I'm not a big fan of rendition rap songs. I think the feeling is in the beat, the feeling is in the instrumentation. When you have to reconstruct it, the bounce gets lost a bit.

Tell me about the rehearsal process once you selected the band members. What was that like? 

They're all so talented, so they all learned it very quick. I gave [the music] to them early, and gave them the stems. When it was day one, they all knew the songs. Even my new guitarist that came in later than everyone, she came in knowing the music. 

The rehearsal project for this tour was a little different, because I'm reconstructing the whole album. I'm moving everything around and changing all the transitions and trying to make it trippy. So it's a process of me figuring out how I want to do things. But they're so talented and so smart, all I have to do is tell them what I want, and they'll do it instantly. 

Like yesterday, I wanted a solo on the end of a song called "The Alchemist." Because at the end of [the album version] is this [singer Brittany] Fousheé breakdown and she's singing in a falsetto. But I took her vocals off and I wanted a solo. And [a band member] was working through it yesterday and it wasn't quite there. But I'm on the way to rehearsal now, and I know when I walk in this room, it'll be done. It'll be crazy. So they all take it very serious and they care, and I love them so much. 

The festival shows you've done so far have had everyone in Bantu knot hairstyles, sometimes with face paint. Is that going to be the look for this tour? 

No, I don't think so.

What was the thinking behind that look? 

I was getting really deep into the world of '70s bands, '60s bands. Just unison: moving as one, looking like one, feeling like one. A family, a group, a team. You see us, we're all together. 

When you play rap shows, so much of what you're doing is keeping a high-energy mood—getting the crowd going, starting mosh pits. With the new songs, it's about a diversity of feelings. What was that like for you as a band leader? 

I'll tell you, it was not easy. I've been in this industry for seven years, and my shows have been high-energy for seven years. So the first time I went on a stage and performed Let's Start Here, I felt like, "Oh wow, they hate me. Do they hate this?" Plus I have in-ears, so I can't hear the crowd cheering. I don't perform with in-ears when I do rap shows. 

It took me some time to get used to the switch. Tyler, the Creator once had a talk with me and explained to me that, it's not that they don't f— with you, it's that they're taking it in. They're comprehending you. They're processing and enjoying it. That clicked in me and I got a better understanding of what's going on.

What is it like in the same show to go from the Let's Start Here material to the rap stuff? 

It's a relief, because that's going to my world. It's super easy for me. It's like flipping the switch and taking it to the moon.

Now that it's been the better part of a year since Let's Start Here came out, how are you feeling about it? What sense do you have of the reaction to it?

Since before it came out, when I was making it, I always felt so strongly because it was something that I felt inside. It felt future-forward, it felt different, it felt original, it felt fresh, it felt strong. 

I'm grateful for the response. It's nice. It's not what you do it for, but it is extra credit. It's nice to get that love and to have people resonate with a body of work that you've worked so hard on and you care so deeply about.

Have you felt peoples' reactions change over the past few months? 

Well, this is the first time when people are like, "Man, that album changed my life" or "It took me to a different place." People love my music — always have — but this reaction is, "Man, this album, man, it really took me there." 

It did what it was supposed to do, which was transcend people. If you are on that side of the world and you're into that type of stuff, it did its job, its course — the same course as Dark Side of the Moon, which is to take you on a journey, an experience. 

What was it about Dark Side that grabbed you? 

Everything. The cover, the sounds, the transitions, the vocals, the lyrics, the age of Pink Floyd when they made it. I could go on. I got into deep fascination. It was so many things. It's just pure talent.

I've read that you studied Pink Floyd quite a bit, watching interviews and documentaries. What were some of the things you learned from that process and brought to Let's Start Here?

So many things. The most important element was that I wanted to create a body of work that felt cohesive and that transcended people, and that was a fun experience that could take you away from life.

I was curious about the song ":(failure:(," where you give a speech about failing. What were your inspirations for that?

"Facebook Story" by Frank Ocean, which is about a girl who thought he was cheating on her because he wouldn't accept her on Facebook. It inspired me to talk about something. 

At first I wanted [":(failure:("] to be a poem, and I wanted my friend to say it. We tried it out, but his voice was so f—ing deep. And his poem was so dark — it was about death and s—. I was like, Damn, n—, lighten up. But then I was just like, you know what, I'll do it, and I'll speak about something very near and dear to me, which was failure. I felt like it would resonate with people more.

The idea of time shows up on the album a lot, which is something it has in common with Dark Side of the Moon. You talk about running out of time. What are you running out of time to do? 

Sometimes I feel like I'm growing so fast and getting so old, and maturing and evolving so quickly, and so many opportunities come into my life. You go on tour, and then you start working on an album, and you run out of time to do certain things. It's like, "Are we going to be together? If not, I have other things to do." 

I think that's where it comes from. I don't have all day to play around. Too many things to do. Then it transpires to feel like I'm running out of time.

I love "drive ME crazy!" I was wondering if there are any particular male/female duets that you looked at as a model when designing that song. 

Fleetwood Mac. Again, with all the inspirations for these songs, I still did my twist on them. So I don't want people to go and be like, "Oh, that sounds nothing like a Fleetwood Mac song." I wasn't trying to copy a Fleetwood Mac song. It just inspired me to make a song in that feeling, in that world.

When you began your career, you were the "king of the teens." Now you're a father in your mid-twenties. Who's your audience these days? Is it the people who were teens when you started your career, who are now in their 20s like you, or is it a new crop of teenagers? 

I think now it's from the 12-year-olds to the 40-year-olds. My last festival, I had 50-year-olds in my show. That was so amazing. In the front row, there was an 11-year-old asking for my sneakers, and then in the back, it was 50- and 60-year-olds. It was crazy. The age demographic is insane.

Whenever I'm leaving somewhere, I like to have the window down and see people. [At my last festival] these 60-year-olds were leaving. They're like, "Man, your album, we love it. That show was so great." And that's awesome, because I love [that my music can] touch everyone. 

You've been opening your recent shows with "the BLACK seminole." What does that phrase mean to you? How does it relate to the sound of the song and the rest of the lyrics?

It's saying, "I'm a warrior, I am a king, I am a sex symbol, I am everything good and bad with man, and I'm Black, unapologetically." That's what it's about. 

Any final thoughts about the tour? 

Just that it's an experience. You're not walking into a rinky-dink [show with] some DJ. This is going to be a show

I feel like it's the start of my career. I just want people to come in with an open mindset. Not expecting anything, ready for everything. 

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Listen: Megan Thee Stallion & Cardi B  Release New Song, "Bongos"
Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion

Photo: Jora Frantzis


Listen: Megan Thee Stallion & Cardi B Release New Song, "Bongos"

The single is the first collaboration between the GRAMMY-winning rappers since 2020's "WAP."

GRAMMYs/Sep 8, 2023 - 06:02 pm

GRAMMY-winning artists Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B are back with a new single, "Bongos." The song highlights the duo's flow and connection, as they trade verses over a bouncy, repetitive and infectious beat fit for the club.

Released at the brink of autumn, the accompanying video for "Bongos" features vibrant visuals, majestic choreography and a Latin-inspired rhythm that makes listeners yearn for summer. The tropical-themed video was directed by Tanu Muino, who is known for her work on Harry Styles' "As it Was" and Normani’s "Wild Side."

The single’s cover art was teased a week prior on social media, showcasing Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion holding lollipops with bright matching swimsuits and pastel-colored curls. 

"Bongos" marks the second collaboration since the duo's groundbreaking "WAP" single, which was performed at the 2021 GRAMMY awards and made history for its debut as the first  female rap collaboration to top Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. 

Fans who were expecting a "WAP sequel" won't be disappointed. During an interview with DJ Whoo Kid, Cardi B speaks on the song themes and the difference between WAP, saying "We are talking a little, you know, about some p—y, but not like ‘WAP’ type of stuff,” she said.

Cardi B has consistently been on the charts since her 2018 debut LP, Invasion of Privacy which won Best Rap Album at the 2019 GRAMMYs. Recent collaborations including "Point Me 2" with FendiDa Rappa, "Put it On the Floor" with Latto and "Jealousy" with Offset have reached topped charts and there’s speculation for a new album soon. 

It’s uncertain if "Bongos" will appear on Cardi B’s sophomore album. She recently told Vogue Mexico x LatinAmerica, "I’m not going to release any more collaborations, I’m going to put out my next solo single.”

This is Megan’s first feature since her sophomore album, Traumazine, which was released in 2022. Megan announced a break from music in early 2023 to focus on her mental health amid the public trial against Tory Lanez. 

Megan Thee Stallion has continued to flourish in the media, hosting "Saturday Night Live" and venturing into acting roles including Disney+ series "She-Hulk; Attorney at Law." 

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GRAMMY Museum To Celebrate 50 Years Of Hip-Hop With 'Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit' Opening Oct. 7
The GRAMMY Museum's 'Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit' opens Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023

Image courtesy of the GRAMMY Museum


GRAMMY Museum To Celebrate 50 Years Of Hip-Hop With 'Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit' Opening Oct. 7

The new exhibit honors the 50th anniversary of hip-hop through an expansive and interactive exploration that features artifacts from legendary artists including the Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, LL Cool J, and more.

GRAMMYs/Sep 7, 2023 - 03:11 pm

The GRAMMY Museum is celebrating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop this fall with the newly announced Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit, an immersive, interactive, 5,000-square foot experience celebrating the multifaceted world of hip-hop and the global impact and influence of the genre and culture. Launching Saturday, Oct. 7, and running through Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2024, the exhibit will feature expansive exhibits exploring hip-hop music, dance, graffiti, fashion, business, activism, and history as well as artifacts from hip-hop pioneers like Tupac Shakur, the Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, and many more.

Additionally, the exhibit features a one-of-a-kind Sonic Playground, featuring five interactive stations that invite visitors of all ages to partake in DJing, rapping and sampling, all essential elements comprising hip-hop culture. Additional virtual and in-person education and community engagement programs will be announced at a later date.

Exploring the countless ways hip-hop music and culture has dominated popular culture over the last 50 years, Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit was curated by a team of four co-curators who bring a deep knowledge of hip-hop, academic rigor and creativity to the project. They include:

  • Felicia Angeja Viator, associate professor of history, San Francisco State University, author of ‘To Live And Defy In LA: How Gangsta Rap Changed America,’ and one of the first women DJs in the Bay Area hip-hop scene

  • Adam Bradley, Professor of English and founding director of the Laboratory for Race and Popular Culture (the RAP Lab) at UCLA, and co-editor of ‘The Anthology of Rap’

  • Jason King, Dean, USC Thornton School of Music and former chair of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU

  • Dan Charnas, Associate Arts Professor, NYU Clive Davis Institute of Music, and author of ‘Dilla Time: The Life And Afterlife Of The Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm’

The co-curators worked in conjunction with GRAMMY Museum Chief Curator and Vice President of Curatorial Affairs Jasen Emmons as well as a 20-member Advisory Board.

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Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit is an educational journey through several key themes:

  • Origins: Discover the roots of hip-hop in the Bronx and New York City, where DJs were the original stars, and graffiti and breakdancing were integral to the culture.

  • Innovation: Explore how hip-hop artists have innovatively used technology, from transforming turntables into musical instruments to pioneering sampling techniques.

  • Sounds of Hip-Hop: Experience the diverse sounds of hip-hop in four themed studios, showcasing the evolution of production, the intersection of hip-hop and car culture, the craft of hip-hop lyrics, and the influence of R&B.

  • Fashion: Dive into the world of hip-hop fashion, featuring iconic clothing, jewelry and style.

  • Regionalism: Discover 14 hip-hop scenes across the United States, showcasing the importance of local and regional contributions.

  • Entrepreneurialism: Learn about the transformation of hip-hop from a back-to-school party in the Bronx to a multi-billion-dollar global industry.

  • Media: Discover the role of media in shaping hip-hop's development, from radio stations to pioneering shows like "Yo! MTV Raps."

  • Community: Explore how hip-hop has brought people together over the last 50 years, with an interactive ‘Hip-Hop America’ playlist featuring 200 songs that trace the genre's evolution.

Highlights from Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit include:

  • The Notorious B.I.G.'s iconic 5001 Flavors custom red leather peacoat he wore in Junior M.A.F.I.A.'s music video "Players Anthem"

  • Kurtis Blow's original handwritten lyrics for his 1980 hit single, "The Breaks," the first gold-certified rap song

  • Black suede fedora hat and Adidas Superstars belonging to Darryl "DMC" McDaniels of Run-D.M.C.

  • Tupac Shakur's handwritten essay "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death," circa 1992

  • Two outfits designed by Dapper Dan, Harlem fashion icon: 1) a half-length black leather jacket worn by Melle Mel (Melvin Glover, b. 1961) in performance at the 1985 GRAMMY Awards; and a black-and-yellow leather bucket hat and jacket worn by New York hip-hop artist Busy Bee (David James Parker)

  • Egyptian Lover's gold Roland 808, the beat-making tool

  • LL Cool J's red Kangol bucket hat 

Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit is a key event taking place as the world is celebrating 50 years of hip-hop this year. The origins of hip-hop can be traced back to Aug. 11, 1973, when DJ Kool Herc DJed a birthday party inside the recreation room of an apartment building located on 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the South Bronx, New York City. This history-making date marks the birth of hip-hop and is the reason why we're celebrating hip-hop's 50th anniversary this year. The 50th anniversary of hip-hop means artists, fans, and the music industry at-large are celebrating the momentous milestone via hip-hop concerts, exhibits, tours, documentaries, podcasts, and more around the globe across 2023.

Visit the GRAMMY Museum website for more information regarding advanced ticket reservations for Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit.

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