From Brooklyn to the Bronx, New York is the birthplace of hip-hop, so here you can easily feel its authentic atmosphere. Check out the greatest NYC rap gigs.
Hip-hop has emerged because young people in New York did not feel represented by the music of their time. It was the mid-70s, disco was the soundtrack of those years, and men like DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash mixed the instrumental parts of big hits into a sounds crap with two turntables and talked about stories from their everyday lives. Later, it became the MC ("Master of Ceremony"), who used his voice to perform rhymes on a beat.
Something new came into the world, and within a few years, developed a language of its own, a way to dress, to move and to signal affiliation. Hip-hop is a lifestyle, rap the music associated with it, and the attractive thing about it is that there are few entry requirements. In fact, anyone can rap, say something about his life to the music, expound his view of the world, express himself.
Rap as a phenomenon originated in the early 70's in the Southern Bronx - a poor neighborhood in New York - and became an alternative to the then popular direction of disco. Hip-hop culture quickly spread mainly in Latin American and African American neighborhoods - among those who could not go to disco clubs. Today the situation has radically changed. Rap can no longer be called "music for the poor," it has long conquered the world and has ceased to be the exclusive prerogative of African Americans: for many years the performers of this genre have confidently taken the leading positions in influential musical ratings and find admirers in various countries.
From a summer outdoor concert series to weekend festivals, there are plenty of events in New York. We tried to collect the most interesting of them that will appeal to fans of rap and hip-hop.
The Governors Ball Music Festival
When & Where: June 1-3, 2018, Randall's Island Park, New York
Headliners: Post Malone, Travis Scott, Eminem, N.E.R.D, Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert and more.
The multi-music festival, which takes place in the open air for several days on Randall's Island. In this unique space, there is everything that the soul of a real music lover can dream of: a lot of tents with food from different street restaurants of the city, photo booths, outdoor games, ping-pong and, of course, hip-hop music presented by large-scale stars. A great way to spend a summer weekend in New York is a stunningly fun way. The festival takes place within a few days, the schedule of performances can be viewed on the official website of the event, as well as get acquainted with the prices. You can enter and exit on the site only once a day, so it's worth to think carefully about the choice of the day, as well as about the time that you plan to spend there.
The festival began in 2011 on Governors Island (hence the name of the event). At that time it was just a one-day event with a not so great musical cast. At Randall's Island Park, New York City, this festival has since 2013 been extended from a two-day regional event to a larger three-day event over the last few years. This means that it is growing in scale, audience and reputation to be on par with other major US music festivals such as the Coachella or the Bonnaroo Festival. To establish the long-awaited response of the East Coast to a major music festival, the organizers have made headlines such as Kanye West, Kings of Leon, Guns N Roses, OutKast, Jack White, The Strokes and many more.
Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival
When & Where: July 9-14, 2018, The Planet of Brooklyn, New York
Headliners (2017): Rakim, DMX, The Lox
Celebrating the culture's artistic influence and ability to be a vehicle for social change, Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival has welcomed many of the genre's true legends since it began in 2005. The annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival is more than just music, the festival celebrates all aspects of hip-hop culture, including art, film, dance, business, fashion, community activism and more. Nas, Fabolous, Talib Kweli and many other artists were performing at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s main stage.
The Meadows Music & Arts Festival
When & Where: September 15-17, 2018, Queens, New York
Headliners (2017): Jay-Z, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gorillaz
The Meadows Music and Art Festival is the newest music festival in New York. The Citi Field Stadium is rethought in a dance floor suitable for thousands, with the largest artists in the world taking responsibility from four stages. After the long-awaited and successful debut edition in 2016, The Meadows marches with a good wind behind it and an authoritative and well-established reputation.
When & Where: August 25-27, 2018 Commodore Barry Park
Headliners: Tyler The Creator, Denzel Curry, Miguel
The music festival AFROPUNK has already become a good summer Brooklyn tradition. Afropunk Festival is the annual event in August at Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn (City Park). This is an open summer music festival, in which many well-known musicians perform (including some of the largest hip-hop performers). In addition, Afropunk seeks to raise multicultural awareness in New York.
Hot 97 Summer Jam
When & Where: June 10, 2018, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States
Summer Jam is held by the famous rap radio station Hot 97. This concert is a kind of exhibition of achievements of hip-hop, whose members are struggling to outperform each other. Here the passions are heated, intrigues are spinning and scandals are flaring up.
Moreover, it’s the best place for fans of street music, electronic music, and hip-hop culture. Only there you can meet the most outstanding hip-hop and R'n'B performers on the same stage. The festival exists since 1994 and every time passes more and more magnificent. Even if you consider yourself a person far from street culture - Hot 97 Summer Jam will help you change your religion! In different years on the stage of the festival were LL Cool J, Puff Daddy, Nas, DMX, Jay-Z. Eminem and other recognized street kings.