When you think of the Bronx – what is one of the first thoughts that pops into your head? Hopefully Hip Hop!
On Thursday, June 8, the first ever Global Hip Hop Day block party was hosted at Cedar Playground, 1890 Cedar Avenue, to celebrate the history of hip hop culture in the Bronx – and its impact across the world.
Notable Hip Hop artists in attendance included Kid Capri, Fat Joe, Remy Ma, Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh, among others.
Music for the event, which included many songs from the 1970s and ‘80s that eventually became hip hop samples, was provided by Hot 97’s DJ Enuff, Funk Flex, DJ Camilo and Kastone.
Cedar Playground neighbors 1889 Sedgwick Avenue, which overlooks the park.
Many of those who lived at 1889 Sedgwick Avenue in the ‘70s and ‘80s can recall looking down at the park from their apartments and see DJs hosting parties and playing Hip Hop music.
Hip hop music is believed to have originated at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in August 1973, where Clive Campbell, also known as DJ Kool Herc, spun turntables during his sister Cindy’s back-to-school, birthday party.
As part of the Global Hip Hop Day celebration, a portion of Sedgwick Avenue (from Depot Place), was rechristened as ‘Hip Hop Boulevard’, after the City Council recently approved the street co-naming in February 2016.
The free event, which was open to the public, was hosted in partnership with Apple Music, Hot 97, NYC Media & Entertainment, Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson and Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.
The event also received support from organizations the Universal Hip Hop Museum, Generation Hip Hop, the BulLion Foundation as well as Windows of Hip Hop.
“The Bronx is an iconic, internationally renowned hip hop destination, and it is the home of a rebellious and innovative musical art form that has, over several generations, become a worldwide powerhouse,” said Diaz. “It’s great to see so many generations of artists, who not only have paved the way but also made powerful contributions in the arts and society, come together to celebrate and honor this music and culture. “It’s as if I died and went to Hip Hop Heaven.”
“Who here loves the Bronx?! Who here loves Hip Hop?!” asked Councilwoman Gibson. “This is a great event and the perfect place for us to honor the neighborhood where hip hop music and culture was originated.”
“On behalf of (WoHH), we’re honored to witness hip hop history!” said Melissa Libran, CEO of Windows of Hip Hop. “It’s genuinely commendable that our public officials moved forward honoring the Bronx for its creation of Hip Hop and co-named Sedgwick Avenue as Hip Hop Boulevard.”
“This celebration made me very happy – because it gave acknowledgement to the Hip Hop pioneers who were so instrumental in making Hip hHp what it is today,” said hip hop pioneer Sal Abbatiello, founder of Fever Records and owner of Disco Fever, a night club which operated from 1976 to 1986 and was located on 167th Street and Jerome Avenue. “It’s very important that we keep the essence of this legacy alive so it is always remembered.”
Vendors at the Global Hip Hop celebration included Haagen Dazs, Kettle Brand Chips and Delicioso Coca Helado.