Hip hop has long been an integral part of popular culture. This fascinating exhibition delves into its beginnings while charting its development over time. Run-D.M.C pioneered hip hop’s spread beyond underground circles while the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy helped push musical innovation.
Initial male dominance led to sexist lyrics; however, in the 2000s artists such as LL Cool J and Nicki Minaj made female-centric hip hop popular.
Chelsea’s Somewhere Nowhere
For an unforgettable night of hip hop music in NYC, look no further than Chelsea’s Somewhere Nowhere rooftop lounge and nightclub. Situated 38-39 stories above Renaissance Hotel Chelsea and offering stunning views as well as premier audiovisual technology, its spacious outdoor deck makes an ideal place for socializing or dancing the night away, not to mention offering a selection of drinks and food items!
Somewhere Nowhere offers a diverse array of music, spanning EDM and hip hop genres. Their state-of-the-art sound system ensures every beat and bassline resonate through your body; plus their bar is well stocked with drinks such as cocktails and premium spirits – plus their mixologists are knowledgeable mixologists! Their staff is friendly and efficient.
This two-story lounge is open to hotel guests and the public seven days a week through reservations, offering stunning 360-degree views of Manhattan’s skyline from its rooftop pool – currently winterized – providing breathtaking panoramas. In addition to these amenities, the lounge also hosts special events throughout the year.
Live Hip-Hop, one of its signature events, offers a weekly showcase of some of the city’s best rappers and up-and-coming talent from 5-10 p.m. every Friday (with admission costing $40 and including a cocktail) from 5 to 10 pm – providing visitors with classic hip-hop music, dance moves and scenic views for only $40 each week!
Somewhere Nowhere is a new club in Chelsea designed to appeal to all five senses. Its magical ambience features lighting that dims with the change from day to night, custom art pieces featuring gnomes and fireflies, neon signs that glow in darkness and an innovative sound system accompanied by its signature scent.
Somewhere Nowhere features A-List DJs and album listening parties, as well as a restaurant and bar decorated in the 1940s Havana theme, offering cocktails and Cuban-influenced cuisine in an interior resembling that of a 1940s saloon saloon, complete with extensive cigar selection and roof pool access with advance reservations only.
Trusted Mic is a weekly after-work celebration of hip hop music hosted at Chelsea’s Somewhere Nowhere in Chelsea. The event features live performances by some of the hottest rappers in the game and great vibes; each week’s lineup showcases only top artists; you can expect classic hip hop classics as well as brand new releases.
Outsiders familiar with L.A. hip hop from the 1980s and ’90s-particularly its brand of gangsta rap made popular by N.W.A and Death Row-may find it hard to envision any scene beyond these totems, yet Los Angeles has produced some of the greatest traditionalist lyricists ever; from Dr. Dre to 03 Greedo–Los Angeles rappers have created an entirely new language within hip hop music history.
Immortal Technique has left a complex legacy, often playing into misogynist themes while condemning rap’s sexism. To label certain sub-genres of rap as all being problematic is ignorant and unfair.
The Bronx’s The Big Apple
New York City celebrates hip hop’s 50th anniversary this week, and Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City honors its groundbreaking musical genre with a weeklong campus-wide celebration featuring performances by Rakim and DJ J.PERIOD with Big Daddy Kane as well as live trap choir choir experience sessions and family events.
Visitors will be whisked back to 1977, the year of Clive Campbell’s eponymous block party that gave rise to a whole new form of hybrid music. Dubbed DJ Kool Herc by his guests at this makeshift dance hall, Campbell orchestrated an entirely unique atmosphere using two turntables looping Funk and Disco breaks for an original sonic backdrop that would change forever: from electrifying one room all the way through globalization!
Bronx residents will also celebrate this milestone by attending a free exhibit at Mott Haven Library that features various musical styles – from Conscious Rap to General Echo’s high-on-life whisper song and Jamaica Girls’ clapping dub style with lazing horns and diddly-dees, this exhibition explores its roots.
This year’s event is larger and better than ever, offering over 30 ways for guests to engage with it – from virtual concerts and panels, to discussions and conversations, it brings Hip Hop history alive in one location.
The exhibition’s borough-specific experiences will celebrate the vibrant cultures of New York City’s five main areas or boroughs – Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. Staten Island installment will host an all-star lineup of emcees and producers including Busta Rhymes of Wu-Tang Clan’s Shyheim and Tyrone Briggs; DJs; break dance youth battles; streetwear vendors; disco yoga; as well as visual arts exhibit.
Brooklyn’s The Bowery
Brooklyn has long been synonymous with hip hop, from aspiring musicians boosting sound systems in the 1977 blackout to Run-DMC getting the first rap endorsement deal and becoming professional DJs virtually overnight; from Harlem mc’s embodying a more gritty street style with their lyrical content (see Big L & Immortal Technique) and Brooklyn mc’s who have made the transition from the party scene to the underground socially conscious backpackers, like Kweli, Joey Bada$$ & Masta Ace to the drill rappers of Flatbush, like Cam’ron & Pop Smoke; and from the Brooklyn-bred rappers that possess a more melodic “mainstream” flow than lyrical technicality (see Jay-Z & Fabolous). This wide variety of styles gives the borough its enduring sense of unbridled confidence and limitless audacity.
This spirit of New York hip hop is captured brilliantly in a number of classic documentaries and films. For instance, director Earle Sebastian’s 1994 film Stolen Moments: Red Hot & Cool pairs the popular rap acts of the day with jazz legends to showcase the musical synergy that helped give hip hop its edge, while featuring interviews from Cornel West and Harlem HIV/AIDS activist Louis Jones.
Another Brooklyn-based documentary worth checking out is Doug Pray’s 2001 film Scratch, which focuses on the backbone of hip hop culture: the DJ. Featuring turntablists and crate diggers including QBert, DJ Premier and more, the film celebrates this often overlooked craft and highlights how it connects music and culture.
Brooklyn’s hip hop culture continues to thrive today in venues such as Bushwick’s Lot 45, an industrial space turned living room-style lounge complete with art and cozy decor that hosts events catering to everything from soca to amapiano to afrobeats to a crowd that packs the dance floor for DJ Mike Nasty’s weekly “Lit 45” and moresoupplease’s monthly More Hits Please parties that cater to current rap fans.
The Rumpus Room is another Brooklyn staple where mc’s and DJ’s can showcase their skills and entertain guests with the latest in Brooklyn hip hop. The venue’s diverse audience and upbeat music selection make it a must-visit for hip hop lovers.