Universal Hip-Hop Museum hosts 50th anniversary block party in Mill Pond Park
The future Universal Museum of Hip-Hop is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the genre Friday with a block party in Mill Pond Park.
The crowd kept growing Friday to celebrate just a few miles from 1520 Sedgwick Ave., where the genre began in 1973.
Some of those original MCs were part of the party and felt happy to be part of the celebration.
"It feels good, but I'm living it through my friends … numbers don't go down, I was taught that in the Bronx, we're all going to get old, so we’ve got to pick the young back up. So that's what you see out here,” says rapper Coke La Rock.
The block party highlighted several essential elements of hip-hop history. Dozens of artists have taken the stage as part of Rapmania, a showcase hosted by promoter Van Silk. Among them have been Chuck D, Melle Mel and Flavor Flav.
Around the park, graffiti artists from Thrive Collective sprayed murals celebrating the anniversary.
And world-renowned breakers have performed, including Alfred “Pollo” Perez, who said it’s all about honoring where hip-hop came from and passing the torch to the next generation.
“We're not just here to memorialize hip-hop, hip-hop is not going to die here. It is going to live here,” says Paradise Gray, chief curator of the Universal Hip-Hop Museum. “So 50 years, that's good but we're here for the next 50 years."
The block party is all happening steps from the future museum home of hip-hop, which is set to open next year.