Hip-hop’s lasting influence on American culture will be recognized for years to come. Congress will observe its inaugural National Hip Hop History Month in November with the passage of Resolution 331, a bill co-sponsored by Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Congressman Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) and passed through the Senate under Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) direction.
The resolution was introduced in late July and includes additional recognitions of the genre’s fruitful contributions to broader American culture. On top of November being observed as National Hip Hop History Month, Aug. 11, 2021, was designated as Hip Hop Celebration Day in honor of one of the first hip-hop DJ parties to take place on the same day in 1973. DJ Kool Herc hosted the “Back to School Jam” in the Bronx, New York, and ushered in a new form of musical expression with innovative disc jockeying and rapping over the beats at the same time, a day later recognized as the birth of hip-hop. August 2021 has also been designated as Hip Hop Recognition Month.
“Hip Hop is my life. Hip Hop saved my life. Hip Hop gave me knowledge of self. Hip Hop is who I am,” Congressman Bowman said of co-sponsoring the bill. “The celebration of Hip Hop history and the study of it is essential to our democracy, our innovation, our voice and who we are as human beings.”
In celebration of National Hip Hop History Month, the Universal Hip Hop Museum launched a “Know Ya Hip Hop” monthlong campaign as a call to the public to educate itself on hip-hop and its cultural history. The initiative will serve to help citizens acknowledge the genre’s universal spirit, one that is inclusive and promotes diversity, creativity and social equity. The museum was founded by Rocky Bucano and a group of entrepreneurs and artists including Kurtis Blow, Ice-T, LL Cool J, Nas and others.
Check out the campaign’s video below.