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No one could have imagined that when DJ Kool Herc’s experimentation with his record collection at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx that an entire musical genre, cultural movement and most importantly a lifestyle would be born.

The year was 1973 and like The Notorious B.I.G. famously stated 20 years later, “You never thought that Hip-Hop would take it this far.” Albeit this thing of ours is relatively young compared to other musical forms of expression, the past four decades have spawned plenty of legendary moments.

XXL magazine is celebrating 40 years of Hip-Hop music, party and bull-ish with their upcoming issue, available on newsstands on the last day of 2013. Their staff handpicked five artists who made significant impacts during their respective reign.

Draped in his gold armory and trademark Kangol, LL Cool was chosen to represent The Golden Era in 1988. A pre-Carter anything Lil Wayne represents the Bling Bling Era and the South is always well represented with a Outkast cover circa 2000–the year where they could do no wrong.

Rounding up the lineup is the only West Coast artist in a Doggystyle Era Snoop Doggy Dogg from 1995 and of course, the Reasonable Doubt version of Jay-Z who, arguably has never seen his reign come to an end.

Check out the covers in the following gallery and prepare to stock your Hip-Hop stockings with all five on December 31.

Photo: XXL

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