Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture opens hip-hop exhibit ‘Born In The Bronx’

Disc jockey
A new exhibit that pays homage to the roots of hip-hop in The Bronx opens on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, at the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture.
Photo courtesy Getty Images

The Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture, in partnership with the Bronx Council on the Arts, invites all to explore the roots and evolution of hip-hop, the global phenomenon that originated in the South Bronx in the 1970s.

The stunning collection of photos and memorabilia, curated by Johan Kugelberg and Joe Conzo Jr., showcases how African American and Latino youths in the South Bronx transformed poetry, music and fashion into a powerful expression of life and struggle. From vinyl records, flyers and artwork, to graffiti, break dancing and MCing, this exhibition showcases the diverse and innovative elements of hip-hop that shaped the Bronx and the entire world.

Curators Kugelberg and Conzo have been staging versions of this exhibit internationally since 2005, in London, Tokyo, Sweden and France. In 2007, Kugelberg, with the help of Conzo, founded the Cornell University Hip Hop Collection, the largest archive in the world devoted to tracing the history of hip-hop.

In 2008, they worked with Cornell on staging the world’s first large-scale “Hip Hop History Symposium.” Winner of the New York Public Library Best Books for Teens Award, Conzo and Kugelberg’s 2007 book “Born in the Bronx — A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop,” reissued this year in an expanded edition with an introduction from LL Cool J. The book will be available at the gallery in a special signed edition. 

“Born in the Bronx” opens on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. and will feature Grand Wizzard Theodore, the legendary Bronx-born hip-hop DJ, widely credited as the inventor of the “scratching” technique. He also gained acclaim and credibility for his mastery of “needle drops” and other DJ techniques that he invented or perfected. Join us and “say turn it up” – one of Grand Wizzard Theodore’s greatest phrases.

For more information and inquiries, please contact Hostos Center at (718) 518-4455 or the Bronx Council on the Arts at (718) 518-6728.

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