JAY-Z, GRANDMASTER FLASH, ROXANNE SHANTE, CHUCK D, SALT N’ PEPA, THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G., QUEEN LATIFAH and many more to be featured in the newest, most in-depth exhibition of hip-hop currently running today. From handwritten lyrics to the earliest gear used to create a hip-hop beat; from moguls to social issues; from East coast to West coast and everything in between, HOLLA IF YA HEAR ME, opens fully to the public on June 29th at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with an icon-laden dedication event (details forthcoming).
At a time when the world was undergoing massive social and economic changes: beats, rhymes, movement and art all combined to form what became known to the world as hip-hop, a genre that in its five decades of existence has transformed itself and our culture at large.
“Growing up in New York City music was everywhere! When the reality of the struggle of life brought hell…music brought us heaven!”, said Darryl DMC McDaniels. He continued, “Rock, Funk, Soul, Reggae, Metal , R+B, Jazz and Punk became the power that would be the foundation of sound for this new culture we call Hip Hop! I was a little kid with Rock N Roll dreams! Hip Hop allowed my Dream to come true! I’m proud to celebrate this milestone in music history with The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with their new exhibit. After all, I am The King of Rock!!!”
The exhibit will feature never-before-seen artifacts from the Vanguards of the genre such as Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Kool Herc, Sylvia Robinson, Roxanne Shante, The Sugarhill Gang, and more. The handbill from the “All Star Birthday Bash for DJ Kool Herc”, which served as the birth of hip-hop at the 1520 Sedgewick Avenue house party (1973), will be on display along with artifacts from other key moments such as: the release of Rapper’s Delight; Kurtis Blow being the first rapper signed to a major label (1979); hip-hop’s National TV debut (SNL/1981); and hip-hop’s first rivalry (1984).
Holla If Ya Hear Me will continue through “the new school” featuring artifacts from key moments like LL COOL J’s first single on Def Jam Records (1984); First Album by female hip-hop act to go Gold & Platinum (1986), Salt-N-Pepa’s jacket’s from the “Push It” video; and into the key moments of hip-hop’s social consciousness featuring artists from Public Enemy; Kendrick Lamar; Ice-T and Queen Latifah; and running concurrently with Hardcore Rap hallmarks like N.W.A, Wu-Tang Clan, Tupac, DaBrat, Notorious B.I.G., Lil Kim, DMX and many more.
Salt-N-Pepa said, “Being the first female hip-hop group to have been certified with both a Gold and Platinum record was such an accomplishment. Going on to receive multiple platinum records and becoming one of the best-selling hip-hop groups of all time, was more than we could have hoped for. It was a major milestone in hip-hop’s trajectory over the past 50 years and we are so excited to be able to celebrate this important moment in music’s history with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. We are honored to be a part of the new Holla If Ya Hear Me exhibit and hope everyone enjoys seeing some of our most iconic and important pieces from our career.”
The voice of hip-hop’s social consciousness, Chuck D, said today, “The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has been recognizing hip-hop and its contributions to music since 2007 when it inducted Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. This year, the innovator of it all, DJ Kool Herc, will receive his Musical Influence Award, and Missy Elliott and Rage Against the Machine – two artists who show us all how far the genre can go – will be inducted. I’m honored to be a part of the Rock Hall’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, both as a member of Public Enemy and as the co-creator and executive producer of the PBS/BBC docuseries “Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World,” he concluded.
A section focusing on the Moguls of hip-hop will bring the exhibit home and will include pieces from the first hip-hop billionaire, Jay-Z, as well as pieces from Sean “Diddy” Combs, Russell Simons and more.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s education team will also roll out a brand-new resource collection to help students explore some of the top hip-hop names and Rock Hall Inductees over the style’s first 50 years. All available for free through RockHallEDU and found at rockhall.com/edu.
Additionally, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop and opening of Holla if You Hear Me, the Rock Hall Shop is offering an extensive assortment of licensed merchandise including tee’s, hoodies and accessories from some of Hip-Hop’s most influential artists and brands, as well as exhibit-specific merchandise. The Exhibit collection allows fans to take a piece of the exhibit home with them, while the balance of the collection further celebrates the love for Hip-Hop/Hip-Hop culture. New styles will be dropping all summer long, so be sure to keep an eye on https://shop.rockhall.com/.
Technics, sponsor for the exhibit, said today, “We are thrilled and honored to be a sponsor of Hip Hop at 50 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The hip hop community rallied around Technics direct drive turntables during the emergence of the genre and helped catapult our brand into what it is today. We are proud that hip hop has had a large impact on the Technics legacy – there’s no better place to celebrate this than at the Rock Hall,” said Melissa Housel, Senior Marketing Manager, Technics.
Further information and the full artifact listing can be found in the exhibition overview, available in the Rock Hall press room and at https://www.rockhall.com/hip-hop-50