Here are events to check out across New York City to mark the 50th anniversary of hip-hop

Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival
Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival in 2018.

Hip-Hop as a musical genre, culture, and movement was born at a block party in the Bronx’s Soundview neighborhood on Aug. 11, 1973. It was at this time that DJ Kool Herc showcased a DJ technique using “breaks” that would be the origin of hip-hop. Fifty years later, 1520 Sedgwick Ave. is still a historical site long revered and known as the “Birthplace of Hip Hop.”

From the Bronx’s Grandmaster Flash to Queens’ A Tribe Called Quest to Brooklyn’s Notorious B.I.G. to Staten Island’s Wu-Tang Clan, there are legends from across the city.

Below are events in New York City — listed by borough — where the public is able to pay homage to hip-hop and its giants and icons.


Lincoln Center’s Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop

From August 9–12, Lincoln Center’s “Summer for the City” honors the golden anniversary of that fateful night with a campus-wide celebration of the music, fashion, dance, poetry, and global cultural influence of Hip-Hop. Join us for live performances by Rakim, DJ J.PERIOD with Big Daddy Kane and more special guests, Brazilian performer Arthur Verocai hosted by Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, outdoor dance parties and silent discos featuring the greatest DJs of past and present, a trap choir experience, and participatory family events.

When: Wednesday, Aug. 9 – Sunday, Aug. 12

Where: Various locations at the Lincoln Center, Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023

50th Anniversary of Hip Hop Dance Cruise, with DJ Spinderella

Set sail with Circle Line up and down the Hudson River, honoring the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop with some special surprises, including Missy Elliott’s greatest hits with a choreography lesson from Byron, and prepare for nonstop smash hits spun by DJ SPINDERELLA. Circle Line has partnered with uptown’s Universal Hip Hop Museum to donate 50% of all ticket sales revenues from this sail to their institution to celebrate their commitment to the culture.

When: Thursday, Aug. 10, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Where: Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, 83 North River Piers, West 43rd Street and 12th Avenue, New York, NY 10036

RUN DMC 40th Anniversary Art Installation + Pop Up Shop

RUN DMC, one of the most influential acts in the history of American Hip Hop culture, has announced a pop-up and art installation experience in partnership with adidas Originals, coming to New York City with the group’s return to headline the Hip-Hop 50 Live Concert, the pop-up will give fans access to merchandise from Barriers Worldwide and the Crate NY in addition to coolers in partnership with Igloo and other RUN DMC novelty merchandise items.

When: Thursday, Aug. 10, 11 a.m. – Saturday, Aug. 12, 7 p.m. 

Where: Bleecker Trading, 96 Christopher Street, New York, NY 10014

The Schomburg Center’s Hip Hop Film Festival: 50 Years of Culture

The 8th annual Hip-Hop Film Festival presents “Stories from the Culture,” celebrating the origins of hip-hop culture and the people who lived it. The lineup includes the highly anticipated documentary “You Can’t Erase Me,”which tells the stories of some of the genre’s pioneers who built a multi-million dollar cultural phenomenon, while calling out the people (or circumstances) that robbed them of their legacy. On Aug. 14, Hodge Cinema and Harlem Film House are giving $1,000 for the strongest one-minute monologue for its ACT UP! event. Daytime screenings on Aug. 15–17 are free for anyone with NYPL’s new special-edition hip-hop library card.

When: Friday, Aug. 11 to Sunday, Aug. 20

Where: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard, New York, NY 10037

NYPL’s Live Trivia Hour (50 Years of Hip-Hop Edition)

Come celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop with the New York Public Library and join the Live Trivia Hour. Strap on your thinking cap for the next event in the series: 50 Years of Hip-Hop.

When: Monday, Aug. 14, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 

Where: Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library, 455 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016

Sugar Hill Nights: 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop

Come party with the Sugar Hill Museum as to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of hip-hop with art making, music and dancing. The event features Grand Wizard Theodore, T la Rock, Lexiglass, Alexis Marcelo and artist Danny Peguero.

When: Thursday, Aug. 17, 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Where: Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, 898 Saint Nicholas Avenue, New York, NY 10032

Hall des Lumières: Hip Hop Til Infinity Immersive Trip Through 50 Years of Hip Hop

This evocative digital installation will transport guests through Hip Hop’s different eras and regions – from the skate parks to the stage, to the metaverse. Hall des Lumières’ state-of-the-art audio-visual technology, in collaboration with innovative and creative partners, will illuminate Hip Hop’s storied history. The exhibition will also feature interactive programming, including virtual concerts, live panels & conversations, listening parties, artist meet & greets and more. Hip Hop Til Infinity is the latest announcement surrounding Mass Appeal’s Hip Hop 50 initiative.

When: Wednesday, Aug. 2 – Sunday, Sept. 17

Where: Hall des Lumières, 49 Chambers Street, New York, NY 10007

The Cookout: Hip Hop’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the birth of hip hop and a celebration of Black cuisine and culture, join James Beard Award-winning chef JJ Johnson and Rev Run, founding member of Run DMC and star of the TV show “Sunday Suppers,” as they help connect rhyming and refreshments, flowing and feeding, hip-hop and noshing. JJ Johnson, has invited the best Black chefs in New York, to showcase their signature cuisine. Chef Johnson will attempt to set the world’s record for the largest amount of joloff—a delicious West African rice dish—cooked at one time.

When: Sunday, Oct. 15, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Where: Pier 86 at Hudson River Park, New York, NY 10036


BRIC Hip-Hop 50th Anniversary Weekend

Join BRIC for its Hip-Hop 50th Anniversary Weekend at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! 2023 featuring performances by Digable Planets, Kari Faux, Wiki, Donwill, and Quinnette; a screening of the movie “Brown Sugar”; Hip-Hop games and talks; and more.

When: Friday, Aug. 11, doors at 6 p.m., showtime at 7 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Where: Lena Horne Bandshell, 9th Street and Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11215

The Bronx

The Universal Hip Hop Museum: Hip Hop’s 50th Birthday Jam Block Party 

On the historically noted birthday of Hip Hop, the Universal Hip Hop Museum is hosting Hip Hop’s 50th Birthday Jam. The party will provide music, food, and drinks, murals graffitied by artists courtesy of Thrive Collective, including Tats Cru, Lady Pink, Will Power, and Queen Andrea. Immediately following the visual art, RAPAMANIA, Van Silk will host a rap showcase. Next up, Red Bull BC One will host an Open Cypher, presenting any number of world-renowned breakers and local talent. 

When: Friday, Aug. 11, noon – 6 p.m.

Where: Mill Pond Park, Exterior Street and East 150th Street, Bronx, NY 10451

Grand Concourse Library’s Hip-Hop 50th Anniversary Celebration

It’s time to pay homage to the past, honor the present, and embrace the future as the community comes together to commemorate 50 years of hip-hop’s unstoppable impact on music, art, and culture. Join NYPL’s Grand Concourse Library for some music and games.

When: Friday, Aug. 11, 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Where: Grand Concourse Library, 155 East 173rd Street, Bronx, NY 10457

Birthplace of Hip Hop’s 50 Year Block Festival

Free block parties and events will take place across all five boroughs celebrating the 50-year legacy of hip hop. Longtime teacher, cultural leader, and hip hop icon KRS-One will collaborate with the city as well to help curate and perform at the block parties. These events will feature a lineup of renowned DJs and seminal artists alongside street art installations, food vendors, interactive experiences, and educational-entertainment talks.

When: Saturday, Aug. 12, 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Where: 1520 Sedgwick Ave Bronx, NY 10453

Hip Hop 50th Anniversary 5K

Join the anniversary celebration of Hip-Hop by signing up for a 3.1 run presented by Hip-Hop Runzz. Have fun either solo or with friends and family. 

When: Friday, Aug. 11, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Where: Soundview Park, Lafayette Avenue and Colgate Avenue, The Bronx, NY 10473

Mott Haven Library’s 50 Years of Hip Hop!

Celebrate Hip Hop’s 50th birthday with miss al boogie. This intergenerational and family fun workshop explores American and global street dance styles spanning from the 70s to the present.

When: Thursday, Aug. 17, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. 

Where: Mott Haven Library, 321 East 140th Street, Bronx, NY 10454


Hip Hop 50 Live at the Yankee Stadium

Dubbed Hip Hop 50 LIVE, a slew of the genre’s most decorated stars, including: Run-D.M.C., Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Lil Kim, Wiz Khalifa, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, Fat Joe, and Kid Capri will take center stage inside the legendary Yankee Stadium to celebrate hip-hop’s origin. Along with the names mentioned above, there will be several special sets in commemoration of the event, including Queens of Hip-Hop, headlined by Eve, Trina, Remy Ma, and Lil Kim, along with a Pillars of Hip-Hop set paying homage to the early architects of the genre such as Kurtis Blow, Melle Mel, Roxanne Shante and more. Other performers include T.I., Common, EPMD, Ghostface Killah, Lupe Fiasco, and Slick Rick, while the DJ set will feature Clark Kent, Marley Marl, Mannie Fresh, and Battlecat.

When: Friday, Aug. 11, 6 p.m. 

Where: Yankee Stadium, 1 East 161st Street, Bronx, NY 10451

Queens Botanical Garden’s Hip Hop 50th Anniversary

Join the Queens Botanical Garden for Hip Hop’s 50th Anniversary and celebrate with a DJ set, break dance youth battle, dance lesson, and talk from SherwinTheArtist.

When: Sunday, Aug. 20, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Where: Queens Botanical Garden, 4350 Main Street, Flushing, NY 11355

Staten Island

Staten Island Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop

For this celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, Raekwon the Chef honors that legacy with a few friends, including Staten Island native Tyrone Briggs, performing with the borough’s funkiest fusion band the Jazztronauts, and Shyheim, the Wu-Tang-affiliated MC. The pillars of hip-hop will be celebrated with live graffiti, dance and streetwear vendors. In association with Maker Park Radio, a nonprofit community internet radio station in Staten Island’s Stapleton neighborhood.

When: Friday, Aug. 11, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Where: Stapleton Waterfront Park, Water St. and Navy Pier Ct., Staten Island, NY, 10304

Read more: NYC Celebrates 4/20 with Various Events