Hip Hop Turned 50 With An Incredible Concert At Yankee Stadium

On Friday, August 11, Hip Hop Live 50 descended upon Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, the birthplace of the culture, to celebrate its 50th birthday in grand fashion.

Co-produced by Mass Appeal, Live Nation and New York Yankees, the star-studded, almost eight-hour-plus affair featured the likes of Run DMC, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Ice Cube, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Fat Joe, Kid Capri, T.I, Lil Kim, Trina, Common, Ghostface Killah, Remy Ma, Cam’Ron, Lupe Fiasco, Roxanne Shante, Havoc of Mobb Deep and many more.

Also, several special guests, including Method Man, Slick Rick, Wiz Khalifa, and Ashanti, took the stage to commemorate the occasion.

With tens of thousands of adoring fans across the stadium, artists who represented rap music’s rich geographical and musical diversity displayed the culture’s transformative power.

Before the headliners came to rock the evening stage, New York legend DJ Clark Kent paid tribute to all rappers who passed away before they could witness this historic moment. His set included a medley of songs from Eazy E, the Notorious B.I.G, 2Pac, DMX, Guru, Heavy D, Biz Markie, Big L, Shawty Lo, Pimp C, Phife Dawg, ODB, Nipsey Hussle, Pop Smoke, and more.

Holding down the West Coast, Ice Cube proved his legendary status in the rap game with an electric performance. Accompanied by his long-time partner W.C., Cube ran off a number of his signature songs such as “The Ni**a You Love to Hate,” “Straight Outta Compton,” “Check Yo Self,” and “Today Was a Good Day.”

Lil Wayne, who donned a classic Reggie Jackson Yankee jersey, represented the South.

With an introduction from Pharell Williams, Snoop Dogg took the stage to thunderous applause from the crowd and was surrounded by a cloud of smoke.

Snoop brought out his Mt. Westmore compatriot Too Short, who had the crowd buzzing with “Blow the Whistle ” and Flo Milli, who performed a verse  of “B.T.W.” Uncle Snoop also called to the stage DJ Hollywood, Scar Lip, Wiz Khalifa, and Doug E. Fresh, and Slick Rick who wowed the audience with a  live rendition of “Lodi Dodi.”

During Nas’ set, he brought out another legend from Queens Kool G. Rap, who performed “Fast Life” and “Ill Street Blues.”

Nas also stunned the crowd by introducing Ms. Lauryn Hill to the stage to perform “If I Ruled The World” and before she ran off a medley of songs, including “Ready or Not,” “Doo Wop (That Thing),” “Killing Me Softly With His Song” and “Fu-Gee-La.”

Nas also paid tribute to DJ Kool Herc, “The Godfather of Hip Hop,” Cindy Campbell, and their mother Nettie Campbell.

“Kool Herc, thank you,” Nas said as he bowed down before the Hip Hop innovator.“We all thank you! We love you!”

Closing out the epic show was one of the most influential rap acts of all time, RUN-DMC, in what was billed as the duo’s farewell performance.  After being introduced by Jermaine Dupri, the Hollis Queens icons performed some of their greatest hits, such It’s Like That,” “Sucker MC’s,” “Peter Piper, “It’s Tricky,” “Walk This Way,” “Beats to the Rhyme,” “Down With the King,” and more.

“How many people out there came to see Run-DMC?,”, Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons asked the crowd. “How many people from the old school had the cassette tapes? … Talking about my old-school people, people that know  “Peter Piper” and  “My Adidas.”

At the end s performance, their RUN-DMC logo flashed on the screen with, “JMJ 4EVER” in honor of the late great Jam Master Jay.

Without question, the show was a fitting celebration of the most popular and enduring cultural expression that the world has ever known.

Fifty years ago, DJ Kool Herc and Cindy Campbell had no idea that so much would emerge from a back-to-school block party at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx.

When considering the evolution of the culture, the words of the late Notorious B.I.G. are truer than ever: “Whoever thought that Hip Hop could take it this far?”

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