The Future. Last Friday was the 50th anniversary of the creation of hip-hop — a young music genre that has since become arguably the most influential force in modern music and culture. With the genre set to be a $33 billion industry by 2030, hip-hop’s next 50 years have the potential to be even more impactful.
Backyard to Billboard
For the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, Axios looked back at its origin story.
- It was created in NYC’s Bronx neighborhood by DJ Kool Herc, who showed off some beats at a backyard party.
- It became the music of disenfranchised Black and Latino youth, who used the genre as a way to channel their hardships and express themselves.
- The Sugarhill Gang’s 1979 track, “Rapper’s Delight,” then brought the genre to the American mainstream.
- Run-D.M.C.’s 1982 track “My Adidas” then kicked off the relationship between hip-hop and fashion — leading to the meteoric rise and global embrace of streetwear.
Since then, acts such as N.W.A., Public Enemy, Tupac, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, and Kendrick Lamar have taken the genre to new heights both musically and culturally. The Center for Music Ecosystems reports it’s the most listened to genre in the world, consistently topping the charts for the past 30 years.
And now the Universal Hip Hop Museum is solidifying the genre’s history where it started — the museum is set to open in the Bronx either late next year or early 2025.