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Hip-Hop Just Rang In 50 Years As A Genre. What Will Its Next 50 Years Look Like?
(L-R) Cardi B; Ice Spice; Tyler, the Creator; Flo Milli

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Hip-Hop Just Rang In 50 Years As A Genre. What Will Its Next 50 Years Look Like?

Since its invention in 1973, hip-hop has hurtled ever forward in its evolution. In honor of hip-hop's 50th anniversary, a roundtable of artists and industry experts consider the future of the sound and culture.

GRAMMYs/Aug 11, 2023 - 02:59 pm

With the official 50th anniversary of hip-hop on Aug. 11, the music industry worldwide is vaunting this quintessential American artform.

In honor of hip-hop's golden anniversary, a global community has given the culture's leading lights their flowers, unpacked its regional sounds, and debated its most important releases.

Throughout, the genre's fans have marveled how it blossomed throughout the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s and into present day, permeating absolutely everything.

“It has become a lifestyle. It has simply become part of the air,” Andrew Barber, a hip-hop writer who founded the blog Fake Shore Drive, tells GRAMMY.com. “From sneakers to fashion to slang — even how records outside of the genre are promoted and created draw from hip-hop.

“It's such a force of nature,” Barber continues, “I'm not sure people even realize it's everywhere we look now.”

But as far as it’s come, it might be just getting started. After all, it’s unfathomable how far hip-hop’s come since the days of “Rapper’s Delight”; where it could propagate and flourish into the next half-century is anyone’s guess.

Obviously, nobody can predict exactly how this will happen. But by examining the first 50 years of hip-hop, one can ascertain a few clues as to where this cultural juggernaut is headed.

Read on for a roundtable discussion with creators, movers and shakers in the music industry, who offer insight as to how hip-hop will continue to resonate decades from now.

Kathy Iandoli

Kathy Iandoli

*Photo: Krista Schlueter*

Hip-hop journalist, author of 2022’s God Save the Queens: The Essential History of Women in Hip-Hop

How would you describe the evolution of hip-hop over the past 50 years? What has changed/progressed/improved?

I would say that as the tax bracket of hip-hop has changed, so has everything else. From the subject matter to notoriety, to fashion, to even geotags where it's thriving — everything has shifted in waves.

In many ways, it's definitely progressed and improved — especially as it pertains to the prominence of women. Considering hip-hop has always remained on the pulse of nearly everything, it's also always ahead of the trends. We witness that in real time when it comes to platforms like TikTok, and even the adoption of AI.

Which hip-hop albums or songs of the past 50 years do you consider to be essential to the overall evolution of the genre?

I would give the most credit to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill for expanding the parameters of what is categorically considered hip-hop — since half of the album is sung, which has lent itself to the ever-evolving trend of rappers also singing.

I would even throw the Fugees' The Score in there, as an album that showed just how far hip-hop can go when truly allowed to swim in the mainstream.

What are your predictions as to where hip-hop will go in the next 50 years? What will hip-hop sound like and look like 50 years from today?

I think we will see this continuation of experimentation with other genres, while at the same time witnessing artists return to the purity of the art form.

The younger generations of hip-hop artists are now finally learning about the legends and the music they created, so there will be a group of artists who will want to tinker with that sound, similar to when rock musicians of the early 2000s adopted a '70s vintage/punk rock sound. Everything happens in cycles.

Hip-hop has established itself as a dominant cultural force around the world. What is needed for the genre to maintain its international growth, development and longevity?

The essential component for any long-term growth is acknowledging the power of hip-hop and its impact on a global level. If at any point that needs to be re-stated, then the message was already lost in translation and won't contribute to the growth of the genre as a whole. 

In your view, which artists, producers, songwriters, and/or creators are today leading the charge into the next 50 years of hip-hop? And why? In other words, who is writing and creating the future of hip-hop today?

Coi Leray, hands down. Not only does Coi acknowledge, respect, and collaborate with the legends; she constantly innovates, while working not only on the music, but also the fashion and visuals. She embodies her moniker of Trendsetter. I hope other artists of her generation do the same.

Kid Kenn

Kid Kenn

*Photo: Rueguh*

Chicago-based rapper

How would you describe the evolution of hip-hop over the past 50 years?

Hip-hop has come a long way in the past 50 years! It's a whole new game. It's not just the guys spitting bars anymore. We got badass female artists and gay artists representing. There’s more variety in the industry than ever!

What has changed, progressed or improved?

You can create your own lane. We got the internet and social media. Anybody with a dream and a mic can blow up! It's opened doors for all kinds of talent.

Which hip-hop albums or songs of the past 50 years do you consider essential to the genre's evolution?

I have to give props to The Pinkprint; that’s prime Nicki Minaj. And "Busy Being Bad," my upcoming project — it’s coming out soon and I’m excited!

Can you predictwhere hip-hop's gonna be in the next 50 years?

Hip-hop will become even more free. Artists will be able to express themselves in ways nobody has thought of, and it will be exciting. 

What will hip-hop sound like and look like 50 years from today?

Sounds, styles and visuals that'll blow your mind. Artists like me will be pushing the envelope. There won’t be any holding back and we'll be rocking to beats we ain't even imagined yet.

What's needed for hip-hop to keep growing internationally and staying lit for years to come?

It's all about staying true to who we are. You have to be authentic. We gotta keep telling our stories and collaborating. Hip-hop is going to keep blazing trails worldwide.

Who's leading the charge into hip-hop's next 50 years in your book?

I'm ready to tear it up and redefine the industry. There's a whole new wave of artists who are pushing boundaries. We're the ones who are going to keep hip-hop fresh and unforgettable.

Peter $un

Peter $un

*Photo courtesy of the artist*

L.A.-based rapper

How would you describe the evolution of hip-hop over the past 50 years? What has changed/progressed/improved?

The styles, melodies and cadences have changed for sure. There’s different rhythms and rhyme schemes always, and it’s exciting. The beats have improved and there’s a lot of innovation in the way things are sampled/flipped. There are artists like Knxwledge and Terrace Martin who are innovators progressing the genre, and so many others.

Which hip-hop albums or songs of the past 50 years do you consider to be essential to the overall evolution of the genre?

There’s a lot [laughs]. Of course, Nas’ Illmatic, everything by Jay-Z basically, DMX’s Hell Is Hot, Goodie Mob’s Soul Food, Outkast’s whole discography, Lil Wayne’s The Dedication, “Run,” and Tha Carter, and more recently, Drake.

Then, you’ve got DJ Harrison’s Tales From The Old Dominion, JID’s The Never Story, Kendrick Lamar’s Damn., and J Cole… Like I said, there are a lot!

What are your predictions as to where hip-hop will go in the next 50 years? What will hip-hop sound like and look like 50 years from today?

I believe hip-hop is always evolving, but there’s a lot of golden-era rap that seems like it will forever be here. People will always love a fire sample with some hard bars over it. 

But I feel like there’s a space opening in alternative rap with songs genre-blending, so I think in 50 years it will be a mix of those two areas.

Hip-hop has established itself as a dominant cultural force around the world. What is needed for the genre to maintain its international growth, development and longevity?

Support and good music. Good music is always undeniable regardless, and can stand the test of time. I believe we also need the artists, DJs, etc. in the genre to usher in the new acts and put on artists that have something to say.

In your view, which artists, producers, songwriters, and/or creators are today leading the charge into the next 50 years of hip-hop?

Honestly, besides me, Tyler, the Creator has always pushed it. Liv.e, Knxwledge, Pink Siifu, Jordan Ward, Young Nudy, Larry June, Smino, Flo Milli, Gwen Bunn, and Kamaiyah are just a few others, and more. 

I think there’s a lot of innovation in the genre and things will become more blended between R&B and rap. But samples will forever be the core of hip-hop and I think diggers will dig harder and there’s always going to be a space for that for sure.

Andrew Barber

Andrew Barber

*Photo: David Cabrera*

Hip-hop writer, founder of Chicago hip-hop blog Fake Shore Drive

How would you describe the evolution of hip-hop over the past 50 years? What has changed/progressed/improved?

It has become a lifestyle. It has simply become part of the air. From sneakers to fashion to slang — even how records outside of the genre are promoted and created draw from hip-hop. It's such a force of nature, I'm not sure people even realize it's everywhere we look now. 

Which hip-hop albums or songs of the past 50 years do you consider to be essential to the overall evolution of the genre?

Hip-hop is so vast and music taste is subjective so this is a tough one to answer. It's kind of a choose-your-own-adventure situation. Different ages and different regions will have different answers.

But one thing I can say for sure: Album or single sales aren't the end-all, be-all. Sales never tell the full story.

MF DOOM never really charted or sold much while he was alive — especially when he was at this output peak in the mid-2000s. But now many of his songs have hundreds of millions of streams. 

Sometimes it takes years for artists to get the respect and accolades they deserve, while albums that were multi-platinum upon release are now forgotten punchlines. 

What are your predictions as to where hip-hop will go in the next 50 years? What will hip-hop sound like and look like 50 years from today?

Songs will get shorter and the lines between genres will continue to blur. Also, smaller regional markets who aren't traditionally known for breaking hip-hop talent will continue to grow and become a force — which is something I'm most excited about. 

Hip-hop has established itself as a dominant cultural force around the world. What is needed for the genre to maintain its international growth, development and longevity?

Innovation! Not being scared to take risks with your art. Standing out instead of fitting in. Stop chasing the algorithm.

Sowmya Krishnamurthy

Sowmya Krishnamurthy

*Photo: David Noles*

Music journalist, author, pop culture expert

How would you describe the evolution of hip-hop over the past 50 years? What has changed/progressed/improved?

Hip-hop has gone from outsider to insider, from the streets of New York City to the dominant culture around the world. What began as underground — what some deemed as ephemeral, noise, a fad — is now the biggest genre. Hip-hop has grown to be a commercial juggernaut and the harbinger of all things cool.

Which hip-hop albums or songs of the past 50 years do you consider to be essential to the overall evolution of the genre?

I’m a firm believer that if you can’t recite the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy,” you’re not really a hip-hop fan.

What are your predictions as to where hip-hop will go in the next 50 years? What will hip-hop sound like and look like 50 years from today?

Hip-hop will definitely be on Mars! In all seriousness, I see the sound becoming more diversified with hyperlocal scenes and niche artists. Personally, I’d love to see a return to valuing lyricism and venerating artists that can actually rap over data and the cult of personality.

Hip-hop has established itself as a dominant cultural force around the world. What is needed for the genre to maintain its international growth, development and longevity?

Hip-hop resonates around the world because of its universal DNA of rebellion and youthful energy. You don’t need to speak a singular language to understand it. Industry gatekeepers should embrace international artists and global sounds. I’d love to see more collaborations across borders and seeing hip-hop as a form of diplomacy.

In your view, which artists, producers, songwriters, and/or creators are today leading the charge into the next 50 years of hip-hop? And why? In other words, who is writing and creating the future of hip-hop today?

The playing field is wide open. Female rappers like Cardi B, Ice Spice and GloRilla are at the forefront of what’s new and what’s trending. There’s a resurgence of nostalgia and old school artists such as Jadakiss and Noreaga are enjoying a second act.

Meanwhile, Jay-Z was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Pharrell Williams has hip-hop on the Louis Vuitton runway in Paris. Anything is possible.

Bryan Michael-Cox

Bryan Michael-Cox

*Photo: Kobe Boateng*

Producer, songwriter

How would you describe the evolution of hip-hop over the past 50 years? What has changed/progressed/improved?

The evolution of hip-hop has been the most incredibly advanced of any genre. Think about it, DJ Kool Herc threw a back-to-school jam back in 1973. And that spawned an economy for young creatives to make a proper living. A lot of us are wealthy because of it. That in itself is amazing!

Which hip-hop albums or songs of the past 50 years do you consider to be essential to the overall evolution of the genre?

The list is kind of long, so bear with me:

Sugar Hill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight”
Kurtis Blow, “The Breaks”
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5, “The Message”
LL Cool J, “I’m Bad”
Run-D.M.C., Raising Hell
The Beastie Boys, License To Ill
Big Daddy Kane, Long Live The Kane
Biz Markie, Goin’ Off
Too Short, Born to Mack
Public Enemy, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back and Fear of a Black Planet
X Clan, To The East, Backwards
N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton
M.C. Hammer, Please Hammer Don’t Hurt Em
Geto Boys,
We Can’t Be Stopped
Heavy D & the Boyz, Big Tyme
Ice Cube, Amerikka’s Most Wanted
3rd Bass,
The Cactus Al/Bum
2 Live Crew, As Nasty as They Wanna Be
A Tribe Called Quest, Midnight Marauders
Dr. Dre, The Chronic and 2001
Snoop Doggy Dogg, Doggystyle
Kris Kross, Totally Krossed Out
Bell Biv DeVoe,
Poison
Da Brat, Funkdafied
Pete Rock & CL Smooth,
Mecca and the Soul Brother
The Notorious B.I.G.,
Ready to Die and Life After Death
Nas,
Ilmatic, It Was Written, and Stillmatic
2Pac, Me Against The World and All Eyes On Me
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Creepin on ah Come Up
Jay-Z,
Reasonable Doubt, Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life, The Blueprint, American Gangster
50 Cent, Get Rich or Die Tryin’
DMX,
It’s Dark and Hell is Hot (specifically, “Get At Me Dog”)
Puff Daddy and the Family, No Way Out
Jermaine Dupri, Life in 1472
Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Jay-Z and Kanye West,
Watch the Throne

I have so many more but I am going to stop here [laughs].

What are your predictions as to where hip-hop will go in the next 50 years? What will hip-hop sound like and look like 50 years from today?

Fifty years ago, when hip-hop originated, we had no idea it would sound like this today. My guess is the genre will continue on the trajectory of world domination and the additional genres will blend, with hip-hop being the foundation.

Hip-hop has transcended all of our hopes and dreams — out of the public housing communities of New York City to all over the world.

Hip-hop has established itself as a dominant cultural force around the world. What is needed for the genre to maintain its international growth, development and longevity?

I think we already have what is needed. It is embedded in youth culture, and it’s just going to continue to get passed down. Hip-Hop is literally everywhere and in everything.

In your view, which artists, producers, songwriters, and/or creators are today leading the charge into the next 50 years of hip-hop? And why? In other words, who is writing and creating the future of hip-hop today?

People like Tay Keith, Metro Boomin’, ATL Jacob, Nineteen85, Wheezy, and Southside are leading the way when it comes to the genre. And of course, the legends are still holdin’ it down with them. There are so many more, but these are the first names that come to mind.

Atmosphere

Atmosphere

*Photo: Dan Monick*

Minneapolis hip-hop duo

How would you describe the evolution of hip-hop over the past 50 years? What has changed/progressed/improved?

As a form of culture and music that has given voice to communities that have historically been unheard, it continues to grow and speak for, about and towards more and more people. 

Which hip-hop albums or songs of the past 50 years do you consider to be essential to the overall evolution of the genre?

Jungle Brothers, Done by the Forces Of Nature.

What are your predictions as to where hip-hop will go in the next 50 years? What will hip-hop sound like and look like 50 years from today?

Obviously it’s impossible to answer this. But I do predict that this will continue to be an artwork that manages to engage in commerce with the right hand while still challenging the status quo with the left hand.

Hip-hop has established itself as a dominant cultural force around the world. What is needed for the genre to maintain its international growth, development and longevity?

In my opinion, it only needs to remain genuine in its messaging.

In your view, which artists, producers, songwriters, and/or creators are today leading the charge into the next 50 years of hip-hop? And why? In other words, who is writing and creating the future of hip-hop today?

I avoid questions like this because of potential gatekeeping. This music is at its best when it’s made by the youth challenging the old guard, and I’m slowly naturally becoming a part of the old guard.

I think the best response I can give is to advise people to explore and listen to things that they’ve never heard before. Take a risk, and listen to something that expresses ideas that you don’t already agree with.

Carl Chery

KenTheMan

*KenTheMan. Photo: Marcus Ambrose Williams*

How would you describe the evolution of hip-hop over the past 50 years? What has changed/progressed/improved?

I feel like everything has changed about it, it changes year to year, which is the beautiful thing about hip-hop. I wouldnt say it has improved because its always been great in its own way over time. I also love seeing the younger generation getting involved in the genre earlier year after year. 

Which hip-hop albums or songs of the past 50 years do you consider to be essential to the overall evolution of the genre?

Nicki Minaj — any of her early albums, because she brought a certain rap style that was fun and wild. The Migos, because they changed the sound in general. Drake because he brought the diversity in music — one artist doing multiple styles and sounds. 

Hip-hop celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. What are your predictions as to where hip-hop will go in the next 50 years? What will hip-hop sound like and look like 50 years from today?

I don’t believe hip-hop is a genre you can predict, because it’s already gone unpredictable places. And that’s the beauty of hip-hop. 

Hip-hop has established itself as a dominant cultural force around the world. What is needed for the genre to maintain its international growth, development and longevity?

By staying true to the roots and the core of what it’s always been.  We are already 50 years in; it’s never going anywhere. Like you said, hip-hop has already established itself as a dominant cultural force. I couldn’t see if going backward — only forward to another 50 years. 

In your view, which artists, producers, songwriters, and/or creators are today leading the charge into the next 50 years of hip-hop? And why? In other words, who is writing and creating the future of hip-hop today?

Everyone currently is a part of these next 50 years, if the aliens don’t take over first. 

Carl Chery

*Photo: Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for The Recording Academy*

Head of Urban Music at Spotify

How would you describe the evolution of hip-hop over the past 50 years? What has changed/progressed/improved?

It's been innovative every step of the way — from the music itself to the way hip-hop executives have approached business.

Which hip-hop albums or songs of the past 50 years do you consider to be essential to the overall evolution of the genre?

There's too many albums to list. I immediately think of Nas' Illmatic and how it's changed the way artists approach production. Prior to Illmatic, albums were produced by one producer in their entirety.

I think of Jay-Z's The Blueprint and how it's helped usher in the soul sample sound. I think of OutKast's entire discography. They put Atlanta on the map years before it became hip-hop's new mecca.

OutKast is the only group to sell more albums with each of their studio albums. Kast also expanded on the idea of what hip-hop is supposed to sound like on Stankonia and Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

Rakim introduced a new, conversational way of flowing on Eric B & Rakim's Paid In Full. Rappers used more of a shouting technique in the early days. Can't forget N.W.A's Straight Out of Compton

Gangsta rap is one of the most commercially successful subgenres in hip-hop history so, of course, I think of Dr. Dre's The Chronic and Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle. There's simply too many albums to list. 

What are your predictions as to where hip-hop will go in the next 50 years? What will hip-hop sound like and look like 50 years from today?

I jokingly call Playboi Carti onomatopoeia rap. I know he's saying actual words but his delivery occasionally makes it sound like he's making sound effects.

I think we're going to see that approach continue to grow. I think we're in the midst of one of the most disruptive times in hip-hop history, so it's harder than usual to forecast where the genre is heading.

Hip-hop has established itself as a dominant cultural force around the world. What is needed for the genre to maintain its international growth, development and longevity?

At the risk of sounding cliche, music is the key to a continued growth globally. It's no coincidence that we're seeing UK rappers rise in popularity in the U.S. They're currently making some of the most interesting music.

American rappers are still the genre's biggest ambassadors so I think it's important for them to cover more ground. Certain markets are harder to penetrate. They require artists to spend time in those markets. We saw Drake go to Brazil for the first time in recent years.

That was a strategic move to keep building his audience in that part of the world. Japan is a market American artists still need to crack and it's largely hip-hop influenced. We need more rappers on the ground there.

In your view, which artists, producers, songwriters, and/or creators are today leading the charge into the next 50 years of hip-hop? And why? In other words, who is writing and creating the future of hip-hop today?

The female rap movement has seen incredible growth in the past four years and it's just scratching the surface. There's a new crop of women being inspired as we speak. Imagine what the movement is going to look and feel like in the next five years and beyond.

I think Latto is positioning herself to become a leader of the pack. She's currently building the foundation to a long-lasting career. I'm excited to see where Doechii goes. She's an artist who has the potential to help us reimagine what hip-hop is supposed to sound like.

Baby Keem is also in a great position. He's steadily building, similar to Latto, and his team is intentional. He's poised to become one of the artists who helps us set the tone into the future. 

50 Artists Who Changed Rap: Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., Dr. Dre, Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem & More

Additional Performers Added To "A GRAMMY Salute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop" Live Concert Special: 2 Chainz, T.I., Gunna, Too $hort, Latto, E-40, Big Daddy Kane, GloRilla, Three 6 Mafia & More Confirmed
“A GRAMMY Salute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop” airs Sunday, Dec. 10, at 8:30 – 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network and streams live and on demand on Paramount+

Image courtesy of the Recording Academy

news

Additional Performers Added To "A GRAMMY Salute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop" Live Concert Special: 2 Chainz, T.I., Gunna, Too $hort, Latto, E-40, Big Daddy Kane, GloRilla, Three 6 Mafia & More Confirmed

The star-studded tribute will take place Wednesday, Nov. 8, at YouTube Theater at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California. Tickets are on sale now. "A GRAMMY Salute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop" will air on Sunday, Dec. 10, on CBS and Paramount+.

GRAMMYs/Oct 27, 2023 - 01:59 pm

This article was updated Sunday, Dec. 10, to add the full performer lineup.

The massive lineup for the "A GRAMMY Salute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop" live concert special just got bigger and more legendary with the addition of rap icons and next-gen hip-hop superstars: 2 Chainz, T.I., Gunna, Too $hort, Latto, E-40, Big Daddy Kane, GloRilla, Juvenile, Three 6 Mafia, Cypress Hill, Jeezy, DJ Quik, MC Lyte, Roxanne Shanté, Warren G, YG, Digable Planets, Arrested Development, Spinderella, Black Sheep, and Luniz have all been added to the lineup.

They join previously announced performers Black Thought, Bun B, Common, De La Soul, Jermaine Dupri, J.J. Fad, Talib Kweli, The Lady Of Rage, LL COOL J, MC Sha-Rock, Monie Love, The Pharcyde, Queen Latifah, Questlove, Rakim, Remy Ma, Uncle Luke, and Yo-Yo, who will perform at a once-in-a-lifetime live concert special celebrating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, which the Recording Academy is honoring all year long across 2023. See the full performer lineup.

Read More: 50 Artists Who Changed Rap: Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., Dr. Dre, Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem & More

Airing Sunday, Dec. 10, at 8:30 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on the CBS Television Network and streaming live and on demand on Paramount+, "A GRAMMY Salute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop" is a two-hour live concert special that will showcase the profound history of hip-hop and celebrate the genre's monumental cultural impact around the world. The special will feature exclusive performances from hip-hop legends and GRAMMY-winning artists and much more.

The live concert comprising the "A GRAMMY Salute To 50 Years Of Hip-Hop" special, which is open to the public, will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at YouTube Theater at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California. Footage from the concert will then air on Sunday, Dec. 10, as a live concert TV special.

Tickets for the "A GRAMMY Salute To 50 Years Of Hip-Hop" live concert are available to the public now.

Explore More Of "A GRAMMY Salute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop"

Full concert details are below:

Concert:
Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023 (tonight)
Doors: 6 p.m. PT
Concert: 7 p.m. PT          

Venue:
YouTube Theater
1011 Stadium Dr.
Inglewood, CA 90305

Full List Of Confirmed Performers For "A GRAMMY Salute To 50 Years Of Hip-Hop": 

2 Chainz

Akon

Arrested Development

Battlecat

Big Daddy Kane

Black Sheep

Black Thought

Blaqbonez

Boosie Badazz

Bun B

Chance The Rapper

Coi LeRay

Common

Cypress Hill

D-Nice

De La Soul

Digable Planets

DJ Diamond Kuts

DJ Greg Street

DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

DJ Quik

DJ Trauma

Doug E. Fresh

E-40

GloRilla

Gunna

J.J. Fad

Jeezy

Jermaine Dupri

Kool DJ Red Alert

The Lady of Rage

Latto

LL Cool J

Luniz

MC Lyte

MC Sha-Rock

Monie Love

Mustard

Nelly

The Pharcyde

Public Enemy

Queen Latifah

Questlove

Rakim

Remy Ma

Rick Ross

Roddy Ricch

Roxanne Shanté

Spinderella

Styles P

T.I.

Talib Kweli

Three 6 Mafia

Too $hort

Tyga

Uncle Luke

Warren G

YG

Yo-Yo

^Names in bold indicate newly added artists.

Purchase tickets here.

Stay tuned to GRAMMY.com for more news and updates about "A GRAMMY Salute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop."

A GRAMMY Salute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop is produced by Jesse Collins Entertainment. Jesse Collins, Shawn Gee, Dionne Harmon, Claudine Joseph, LL COOL J, Fatima Robinson, Jeannae Rouzan-Clay, and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson for Two One Five Entertainment serve as executive producers and Marcelo Gama as director of the special.

Hip-Hop Just Rang In 50 Years As A Genre. What Will Its Next 50 Years Look Like?

The Recording Academy And CBS Announce “A GRAMMY Salute To 50 Years Of Hip-Hop” Live Concert Special Featuring Performances By Common, LL COOL J, Queen Latifah, Questlove, De La Soul, Remy Ma & More; Airing Dec. 10
“A GRAMMY Salute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop” airs Sunday, Dec. 10, at 8:30 – 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network and streams live and on demand on Paramount+

Image courtesy of the Recording Academy

news

The Recording Academy And CBS Announce “A GRAMMY Salute To 50 Years Of Hip-Hop” Live Concert Special Featuring Performances By Common, LL COOL J, Queen Latifah, Questlove, De La Soul, Remy Ma & More; Airing Dec. 10

The star-studded tribute will take place Wednesday, Nov. 8, at YouTube Theater at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California. Tickets are on sale now; the live concert special will air on Sunday, Dec. 10, on CBS and Paramount+.

GRAMMYs/Oct 13, 2023 - 01:59 pm

This article was updated Sunday, Dec. 10, to add the full performer lineup.

The Recording Academy, Jesse Collins Entertainment and CBS have announced “A GRAMMY Salute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop,” a once-in-a-lifetime live concert special celebrating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. Airing Sunday, Dec. 10, at at 8:30 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on the CBS Television Network and streaming live and on demand on Paramount+, the two-hour tribute special will feature exclusive performances from hip-hop legends and GRAMMY-winning artists including Black Thought, Bun B, Common, De La Soul, Jermaine Dupri, J.J. Fad, Talib Kweli, The Lady Of Rage, LL COOL J, MC Sha-Rock, Monie Love, The Pharcyde, Queen Latifah, Questlove, Rakim, Remy Ma, Uncle Luke, and Yo-Yo. Newly announced performers include rap icons and next-gen hip-hop superstars 2 Chainz, T.I., Gunna, Too $hort, Latto, E-40, Big Daddy Kane, GloRilla, Juvenile, Three 6 Mafia, Cypress Hill, Jeezy, DJ Quik, MC Lyte, Roxanne Shanté, Warren G, YG, Digable Planets, Arrested Development, Spinderella, Black Sheep, and Luniz. See the full performer lineup.

Read More: 50 Artists Who Changed Rap: Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., Dr. Dre, Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem & More

The “A GRAMMY Salute To 50 Years Of Hip-Hop” live concert will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at YouTube Theater at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California. The concert will then air on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 8:30 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT, as a live concert TV special celebrating the profound history and monumental cultural impact that hip-hop has made around the world.

The “A GRAMMY Salute To 50 Years Of Hip-Hop” live concert is open to the public. Tickets are on sale now.

Explore More Of "A GRAMMY Salute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop"

Full concert details are below:

Concert:
Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023 (tonight)
Doors: 6 p.m. PT
Concert: 7 p.m. PT          

Venue:
YouTube Theater
1011 Stadium Dr.
Inglewood, CA 90305

Full List Of Confirmed Performers For "A GRAMMY Salute To 50 Years Of Hip-Hop": 

2 Chainz

Akon

Arrested Development

Battlecat

Big Daddy Kane

Black Sheep

Black Thought

Blaqbonez

Boosie Badazz

Bun B

Chance The Rapper

Coi LeRay

Common

Cypress Hill

D-Nice

De La Soul

Digable Planets

DJ Diamond Kuts

DJ Greg Street

DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

DJ Quik

DJ Trauma

Doug E. Fresh

E-40

GloRilla

Gunna

J.J. Fad

Jeezy

Jermaine Dupri

Kool DJ Red Alert

The Lady of Rage

Latto

LL Cool J

Luniz

MC Lyte

MC Sha-Rock

Monie Love

Mustard

Nelly

The Pharcyde

Public Enemy

Queen Latifah

Questlove

Rakim

Remy Ma

Rick Ross

Roddy Ricch

Roxanne Shanté

Spinderella

Styles P

T.I.

Talib Kweli

Three 6 Mafia

Too $hort

Tyga

Uncle Luke

Warren G

YG

Yo-Yo

^Names in bold indicate newly added artists.

Purchase tickets here.

Stay tuned to GRAMMY.com for more news and updates about "A GRAMMY Salute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop."

A GRAMMY Salute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop is produced by Jesse Collins Entertainment. Jesse Collins, Shawn Gee, Dionne Harmon, Claudine Joseph, LL COOL J, Fatima Robinson, Jeannae Rouzan-Clay, and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson for Two One Five Entertainment serve as executive producers and Marcelo Gama as director of the special.

Hip-Hop Just Rang In 50 Years As A Genre. What Will Its Next 50 Years Look Like?

GRAMMY Museum Announces 'Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit' Programming Schedule

Image courtesy of the Recording Academy

GRAMMY Museum Announces 'Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit' Programming Schedule

Opening Oct. 7, the exhibit celebrates the 50th anniversary of hip-hop through an expansive and interactive exploration of the global impact of the genre and culture. Google Pixel is a proud partner of 'Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit.'

GRAMMYs/Oct 3, 2023 - 01:37 pm

The GRAMMY Museum announces its Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit initial programming schedule consisting of in-person and virtual events to supplement the exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop.

Opening Oct. 7, the 5,000-square foot installation delves deep into the multifaceted world of hip-hop through expansive exhibits on hip-hop music, dance, graffiti, fashion, business, activism, and history, providing visitors with an immersive experience that explores the profound impact and influence of hip-hop culture.

On display will be an incredible array of artifacts including the Notorious B.I.G.'s iconic red leather pea jacket, LL Cool J's red Kangol bucket hat, and more. Newly announced artifacts include Lil Wayne’s GRAMMY for Best Rap Album, The Carter III, Lil Wayne's handwritten letter from prison to his fans and his family, custom Saweetie acrylic nail sets created by her nail artist Temeka Jackson, plus exclusive interviews with MC Lyte, Cordae and other artists about their creative process.

Additionally, a Sonic Playground features five interactive stations that invite visitors of all ages to unleash their creativity through DJing, rapping and sampling and is made possible thanks to a grant from The Kenneth T. & Eileen L. Norris Foundation.

The exhibit is made possible with the generous support of Google Pixel, and several integrations within the space are powered by Google Pixel's innovative capabilities. This includes the Google Pixel Boombox Throne, an interactive photo experience.

The Rap City Experience, part of the Sonic Playground, is a freestyle interactive featuring Darian "Big Tigger" Morgan, host of BET's "Rap City: Tha Basement." Visitors can freestyle over beats by producers Hit-Boy, PERFXN and Schyler O'Neal, and trade bars with hip-hop artists Reason, Nana and Nilla Allin. As part of the museum's ongoing community and education programming, BET and Mass Appeal will screen the first two installments of their upcoming documentary Welcome to Rap City on Oct. 9. More details below.

Additionally, the GRAMMY Museum is partnering with The Debut Live to present their multi-part event series highlighting iconic hip-hop albums and the artists who created them, including DJ Khaled, Joey Bada$$, Rick Ross, T.I., and more. The intimate conversations are hosted by Billboard's Deputy Director of R&B and Hip-Hop, Carl Lamarre, in partnership with the GRAMMY Museum/Recording Academy + Soho House, and will be available to view beginning Oct. 6 exclusively on the GRAMMY Museum's streaming platform COLLECTION:live.

The exhibit launches on Sat, Oct. 7 and will run through Sept. 4, 2024. A special opening event will take place on Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available to purchase here. Additional programming to be announced at a later date. More information listed below.

Sat, Oct. 7:

EVENT: Careers in Music: The Nelson George Mixtape, Volume 2

WHAT: A conversation and book signing with acclaimed author, producer and director, Nelson George, as we discuss his career chronicling the birth of hip-hop in America and his work in the entertainment industry.

WHEN: 1 p.m.

WHERE: Clive Davis Theater

REGISTER: Click here.

Mon, Oct. 9:

EVENT: Careers in Music: "Welcome to Rap City" Screening

WHAT: In partnership with BET and Mass Appeal, the GRAMMY Museum is proud to host a screening of the first two installments of their new documentary "Welcome to Rap City" followed by a panel discussion featuring Rap City hosts and more.

WHEN: 12 p.m.

WHERE: Clive Davis Theater

REGISTER: Click here.

Thurs, Oct. 26:

EVENT: Backstage Pass: "Road to the Latin GRAMMYs" Mellow Man Ace

WHAT: To celebrate the 24th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards, the GRAMMY Museum is thrilled to have Afro-Cuban rapper and Los Angeles native Mellow Man Ace discuss his career and his accomplishments as one of the pioneers of Latin rap, followed by a performance.

WHEN: 11 a.m.

WHERE: Clive Davis Theater

REGISTER: Click here.

Sat, Dec. 2:

EVENT: Love Your Amazing Self

WHAT: An interactive family program featuring hip-hop musician, meditation teacher and author, Ofosu Jones-Quartey, reading from his latest book Love Your Amazing Self followed by a performance. Support for this program was provided through funding from Councilman Curren Price Jr. and the New 9th.

WHEN: 11 a.m.

WHERE: Clive Davis Theater

REGISTER: Click here.

October 2023 - June 2024

WHAT: Hip-Hop Education Workshops

WHAT: In Celebration of the 50 years of hip-hop from its origin to where the genre is today. Highlighting the golden age of hip-hop, these lessons will provide students with a deeper understanding of the struggles and triumphs of the genre.

WHEN: 2023-2024 School Year

WHERE: Clive Davis Theater

REGISTER: Click here.

For more information regarding advanced ticket reservations for the exhibit, please visit www.grammymuseum.org.

Hip-Hop Just Rang In 50 Years As A Genre. What Will Its Next 50 Years Look Like?


For The Record: How The Fugees Settled 'The Score' 25 Years Ago

The Fugees

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For The Record: How The Fugees Settled 'The Score' 25 Years Ago

When they first approached creating 'The Score,' The Fugees were hoping to win the battle. Twenty-five years later—as the latest episode of For The Record demonstrates—we see now that they won the war

GRAMMYs/Apr 6, 2021 - 06:19 pm

When The Fugees released their second album, The Score, the timing felt eerily perfect. As hip-hop's East and West Coasts continued their tussle, their lighter-hearted approach to socially conscious rap curtailed any overarching assumptions that hip-hop was going down a "bad road." Plus, they had Lauryn Hill, who doubled as a songbird and lyrical spitfire. Together, by juxtaposing life instrumentation, soulful melodies and abstract bars, The Fugees gave hip-hop a renewed spirit and propelled it to a different kind of mainstream. 

But above all, The Score changed the way artists made their music—even 25 years later.

By the time The Fugees released The Score, was nominated for Album Of The Year and won Best Rap Album and Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal for "Killing Me Softly With His Song," they were more than ready to puff out their chests. The group checked the temperature of the streets with their debut album Blunted On Reality in 1994, almost two years prior to the day of The Score's release on February 13, 1996.

Still, their introduction left listeners a little confused by the group's collective identity. Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel were a lot of everything. They were eccentric Jersey kids—two-thirds of whom were Haitian—and were more than willing to fling art, politics, multi-culture and lyricism against a wall and record the sounds of what stuck and what slid off. 

The centerpiece of Blunted was the second single "Nappy Heads," a deeply rhythmic and melodic track with a video that takes place on the steps of the library at Columbia University, where Lauryn Hill was a student at the time. Hill was already the de-facto star of the group, complete with a lead role in the Whoopi Goldberg film Sister Act 2: Back In the Habit. On that debut album, she had a solo track called "Some Seek Stardom," which many point to as the moment they knew she would one day stand out from her comrades. Still, the group was full of promise and their evolution was quick and steadfast.

With The Score, The Fugees were arguably more focused. They were no longer working with Khalis Bayyan of Kool & The Gang (who theoretically influenced so much of Blunted's sound). This time, Lauryn and Wyclef took the bulk of the writing and production duties with the help of Wyclef's cousin Jerry Wonda and Salaam Remi as a creative consultant. They experimented with creating their own take on R&B-skewed hip-hop tracks and even reggae while adding a live element since Wyclef was a trained musician. 

Then, there was Lauryn Hill's phenomenally authentic singing voice, which lent itself to some of the more prominent hooks on the project. The Score was still an amalgam of everything the group stood for, but where Blunted chose to go more animated in parts, The Score opted to get deeper and darker in both sound and style. 

"Red Intro" sets a unique tone as the opener. The track is a monologue that challenges rappers' desires to posture themselves as gangsters and pretend to be mobsters when people are dying out in the streets. It's an unequivocal backhand to nearly everything that was happening in hip-hop at the time. 

There was a rise in neo-gangster rap, where artists like Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. were poetically flaunting wealth and gun talk, woven expertly through their bars. They were the byproduct of '80s artists like N.W.A., and while that surge in gangster rap was tempered by hip-hop's D.A.I.S.Y. Age (A Tribe Called QuestDe La Soul, etc.), the '90s now had groups like The Fugees and The Roots, who stood in stark contrast to Pac and Biggie. 

But there was more to the mission of The Score, considering the group didn't want to be relegated to one corner of hip-hop. So they dropped breadcrumbs throughout the album to show they knew how to stunt, they were aware of the on-goings of the world, yet they could even be strapped… if they wanted to be. The Score is laden with innuendos, firing shots at the competition while simultaneously making biblical references about false prophets. The songs tell a story from beginning to end, with peaks and valleys.

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The album's introductory track "How Many Mics" gets the chest-thumping started early, as the group details their creative superiority over so many other emcees. The concept of The Score was layered; The Fugees felt slighted by the lukewarm response of their first album and this was pure redemption. They use the title track to tie that all together by the middle of the project, by even sampling parts of the rest of the album on the song's hook.

"Ready Or Not" takes an Enya sample and transforms it into a battle cry that doubles as a love song. Tracks like "Zealots" take jabs at biting emcees who dumb their work down for mainstream attention, where "The Mask" goes in on manufactured personas. "The Beast" is a politically charged anthem that tackles political corruption and police brutality, further extended on the track "Family Business," about how being Black and in America can have you murdered for no reason.

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"Fu-Gee-La" takes on more braggadocio, along with "Cowboys" which features another New Jersey rap outfit: The Outsidaz, starring a young Rah Digga. "No Woman, No Cry" mourns those who have passed due to violence. The "Manifest/Outro" has Lauryn contemplating suicide over a toxic breakup. 

Then, of course, there's "Killing Me Softly," the Roberta Flack remake that shifted gears for The Fugees and made them a household name. Thanks to "Killing Me Softly," more attention was paid to the project as a whole, so the casual rap listener suddenly became a hip-hop fan once they experienced The Score. That was The Fugees' superpower: they won over massive audiences with messaging that hip-hop was struggling to convey on a greater platform. Some saw it as a curse to the purity of the art, but in the events that followed it became a gift.

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What happened following The Score's release was complicated. Tupac Shakur was murdered in September 1996, The Notorious B.I.G. was murdered in March 1997, and Puffy's "Shiny Suit Era" threatened the purism of hip-hop even more. This gave The Fugees an open lane to not only secure that mainstream success, but retain some of the integrity of hip-hop's soul that they were ironically accused of snatching prior to those milestone events in hip-hop's history.

The spoiler alert here was that they were always being their true selves the whole time. The Fugees were eccentric, they were artsy, and they were messengers—of the lives they lived and of those they witnessed around them. They weren't afraid to toss around hard bars on The Score nor were they too scared to let Lauryn's voice softly coat the hooks. They spoke about anything and everything they damn well pleased. 

In the decades that followed, rappers who could carry a tune emulated exactly what Lauryn and the Fugees did by alternating between rapping and singing, and weren't afraid in one song to talk about love and society in the next. It was a lasting impression that became one of hip-hop's many archetypes, and it started with a couple of kids who loved being eccentric. 

When they first approached creating The Score, The Fugees were hoping to win the battle. Twenty-five years later, we see now that they won the war.

'The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill': For The Record