Hip-Hop Now Has Its Own US Holiday

For many Hip-Hop Heads, August 11 has marked a special day on the yearly calendar. On that day, in 1973, DJ Kool Herc (aka Clive Campbell) threw a back-to-school party with his sister Cindy Campbell. The event took place at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in New York’s Bronx borough. Herc is widely credited as the DJ innovator who prolonged the break section of a record during his parties, including this ’73 affair. DJ’ing combined with rapping, graffiti, and breakin’ have become the four elements of Hip-Hop culture.

Now, United States lawmakers have joined Hip-Hop Heads in this celebration. Last week, the US Senate passed a resolution that recognizes August 11, 2021, as National Hip Hop Celebration Day. Moreover, S.Res.331 establishes August 2021 as Hip Hop Recognition Month and this upcoming November as Hip Hop History Month. A tweet from the official Senate Periodical Press Gallery account stated that the Sent passed the resolution unanimously.

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New York Senator Chuck Schumer sponsored the resolution. An excerpt reads, “Hip-Hop and other genres of music, such as Jazz from New Orleans, Louisiana, Blues from Mississippi, Country from the South, and Gospel, Soul, Rock and Roll, and indigenous music from across the United States, have all transcended boundaries.” Later, the document adds: “Hip-Hop has provided opportunities for extracurricular activities, youth counseling, creative outlets, physical fitness, vocabulary exercises, poetry, analytical thinking, entertainment, employment, and economic impact, and has become an industry that generates more than a billion dollars annually; Whereas Hip Hop art, education, and culture have positive effects on society.”

Next week, Hip-Hop will celebrate its 48th birthday. Along with “Godfather” Kool Herc, many of the pioneers of DJ’ing, MC’ing, graf’ and breaking remain active in the celebration and education of Hip-Hop.

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The resolution does not state its reasoning for making November Hip Hop History Month. For many years, the Universal Zulu Nation held its anniversary celebrations in early November. That organization, also founded in the Bronx, is recognized for its unification of street gangs for Hip-Hop expression during the early 1970s and beyond.

In recent years, figures from the Hip-Hop culture continue to intersect with figures from Capitol Hill. Killer Mike has been a strong ally and advocate for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for more than six years. In 2017, former President Barack Obama inducted JAY-Z into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. While in office, President Obama invited a group of Hip-Hop artists, including Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Rapsody, Chance The Rapper, Talib Kweli, Busta Rhymes, and DJ Khaled, to the White House as part of his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative.

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#BonusBeat: Ambrosia For HeadsWhat’s The Headline podcast looks back at 1984 and details why it changed everything for Hip-Hop: