September 09, 2023 06:49 PM
The start of hip-hop is credited to an Aug. 11, 1973 back-to-school block party in the Bronx borough of New York City, when DJ Kool Herc experimented with his playlist by scratching the two record players he had on site. Harris described the evolution of hip-hop into rap to those gathered at the vice president’s residence by quoting “the great Chuck D, [who] once said, rap is black America’s CNN.”
“To be clear, hip-hop culture is America’s culture,” Harris said. “It is music and melody and rhyme. Hip-hop is also an ethos of strength and self-determination; of ambition and aspiration; of pride, power, and purpose. Hip-hop is a declaration of identity. It says I love who I am. I represent where I come from, and I know where I’m going.”
Musicians Common, D-Nice, Omarion, Jeezy, MC Lyte, and Roxanne Shante were in attendance along with comedian Deon Cole, and Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. Some other 400 guests were also at the residence.
“Now 50 years later, there’s not a single genre that has not absorbed something essential from hip-hop,” Mason said in a speech at the party.
This was the first hip-hop celebration of its kind at the vice presidential residence in Washington, D.C.
Harris has been known to host first-time events, hosting the first drag queen to make an appearance while in costume.