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It's Time For Hip Hop In NYC: The Bronx

Source: Taylor Hill / Getty

As Hip-Hop celebrates its 50th anniversary, KRS-One and Senator Charles Schumer reflect on their efforts to preserve its birthplace in the Bronx.

The apartment building where DJ Kool Herc threw the first party that gave birth to the culture of Hip-Hop in 1973 has seen that culture go global and change numerous lives. But the status of 1520 Sedgwick Avenue was itself in limbo until the efforts of Senator Charles Schumer and Representative Jamaal Bowman, aided by KRS-One and others, led to a Congressional resolution declaring the building as the birthplace of Hip-Hop in 2021.

“Hip-hop culture has transcended language, race, and age in addition to geographic and socioeconomic barriers,” the Senate majority leader and Brooklyn native said in a statement. “It is a uniquely American art form that has become a global cultural movement. As a proud New Yorker, I was honored to be able to work with hip-hop giants and advocates like KRS-One and DJ Kool Herc, to ensure the birthplace, 1520 Sedgwick Ave, was preserved and celebrated.”

For KRS-One, he felt that Sen. Schumer and Rep. Bowman “understood the importance of hip-hop and its rightful place in our national culture when he extended max effort to make sure this building wasn’t lost.” The legendary artist is bolstering the legacy of 1520 Sedgwick through an initiative launched this summer that will feature classes on the culture in addition to other community events and live performances held at the building. “Internationally, cultural phenoms birthplaces are regularly preserved and celebrated,” the “My Philosophy” rapper said in a statement before acknowledging that sites of Black culture in the U.S. haven’t had that consistent attention.

“The Community Room is now protected for future generations to appreciate. Many think of the room as a ‘sacred space,’” he continued. “Just the act of preserving the room serves as a reminder to all that they also have the ability to achieve their full potential.” KRS-One will be one of many artists celebrating Hip-Hop at 1520 Sedgwick on August 11th with a live concert. “It’s the birthday hip-hop deserves. Its spirit is larger and stronger now than ever before,” he stated.