This month marks the 50th anniversary of hip hop, which began in the Bronx, New York, in August 1973.
You can celebrate with the “Masters of the Mic: Hip Hop 50 Tour” at Wolf Trap in Virginia on Thursday.
The show welcomes the “original human beatbox” Doug E. Fresh along with Slick Rick from The Get Fresh Crew, who changed hip-hop forever when they dropped the hits “La Di Da Di” and “The Show” (1985).
You’ll also enjoy the charismatic emcee skills of Big Daddy Kane, who gave us hip-hop hits like “Ain’t No Half Steppin'” (1988) and “Smooth Operator” (1989), regularly reminding us that he was the “B-I-G, D-A-double-D-Y-K-A-N-E.”
You’ll hear socially conscious lyrics by KRS-One, who highlighted police brutality by whooping like a siren in “Sound of Da Police” (1993) and delivered a clever commentary in “My Philosophy” (1988): “Let us begin, what, where, why or when, will all be explained like instructions to a game, see I’m not insane, in fact I’m kind of rational, when I be asking you, ‘Who is more dramatical? This one or that one, the white one or the black one?'”
The show also features the unrivaled rhymes of Rakim, who joined Eric B. for classics like “Paid in Full” (1987), “I Ain’t No Joke” (1987), “Follow the Leader” (1988) and “Don’t Sweat the Technique” (1992). Few can flow like Rakim: “I’m just an addict, addicted to music, maybe it’s a habit, I gotta use it, even if it’s jazz or the quiet storm, I hook a beat up, convert it into hip-hop form, write a rhyme in graffiti in every show you see me in.”
Last but not least, you’ll appreciate the shattered glass ceilings of Roxanne Shante, the first female solo rap artist, and DJ Spinderella, who spun hits for Salt-N-Pepa like “Let’s Talk about Sex,” “Push It,” “Shoop” and “Whatta Man.”
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