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Mayor Adams, 'ITSALLBLACKMUSIC Presents,' and Hip Hop Legend KRS-One Announce Series of Block Party Concerts Celebrating 50 Years of Hip Hop

July 20, 2023

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NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced a partnership with "ITSALLBLACKMUSIC PRESENTS" to host "5X5 Block Party Series," free block parties and events that will take place across all five boroughs celebrating the 50-year legacy of hip hop this August. Longtime teacher, cultural leader, and hip hop icon KRS-One will collaborate with the city as well to help curate and perform at the block parties. These events will feature an exceptional lineup of renowned DJs and seminal artists alongside street art installations, food vendors, interactive experiences, and educational-entertainment talks. Additionally, the city is collaborating with Pixis Drones to create and perform a free drone light show at each of the parties, honoring iconic hip hop imagery. As the birthplace of hip hop, New York City will also celebrate and honor the genre's musical and cultural transformation over the past 50 years through citywide initiatives, including a collaboration with LISA Project NYC to create 50 murals across all five boroughs to pay homage to hip hop's rich history and community impact. The presence of KRS-One, representing hip hop's longtime leadership, ensures that these block parties will not only be a celebration of the past, but a powerful inspiration for the future of this influential art form.

"The growth of hip hop into a worldwide cultural phenomenon is a testament to the creativity, innovation, and passion of New York City," said Mayor Adams. "From the Boogie Down Bronx, to Wu Tang in Staten Island, to the pioneers in Queens, to the storytellers in Brooklyn and the clubs in Manhattan, hip hop has told the story of New York City and our people. These block party concerts will celebrate 50 years of hip hop, and I look forward to partnering with 'ITSALLBLACKMUSIC PRESENTS' to check the rhyme this summer."

"From its beginnings in the Bronx to its global reach today, hip hop has uplifted communities and empowered people to tell their stories through music," said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. "I'm proud to continue that legacy with this series of free block parties here in New York City and look forward to not only honoring previous generations of hip hop artists but also inspiring the next generation as well."

"We are very excited to work with the Mayor's Office to give back to the community and showcase the brilliance, resilience, and cultural contribution that hip hop has made to the world," said 'ITSALLBLACKMUSIC PRESENTS.' "These activations celebrate the core pillars of the genre, including DJing, MCing, breaking, and graffiti, embracing the true spirit of this art form."

"From block parties to citywide murals, we're lighting up 50 years of hip hop's legacy," said KRS-One. "As we celebrate the art form that uplifts communities and empowers voices worldwide, let's curate a symphony of creativity, innovation, and passion, making history with every beat. Together, we honor the past and inspire the future, proving that hip hop is not just a genre but a cultural movement that speaks to the heart of humanity."

"Pixis Drones is thrilled to be designing and executing bespoke stories in the sky to celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip hop with the Mayor's Office," said Bernard Ozarowski, chief business development strategist, Pixis Drones. "We want to thank Mayor Adams for his leadership. Together, through this groundbreaking public-private collaboration for drone light shows in New York City, we're excited to bring the very best of this technology to the city."

The free block parties will take place at the following locations, dates, and times. Lineups and other activations will be announced soon online.

Saturday, August 5, 2023
3:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Fulton Street & Washington Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Sunday, August 6, 2023
3:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Vernon Boulevard & 41st Avenue
Dutch Kills, NY 11101

The Bronx
Saturday, August 12, 2023
1:00 PM – 9:30 PM
1520 Sedgwick Avenue
Bronx, NY 10453

5x5 Block Party Series flyer

The events were made possible thanks to Sony Corporation, UMe Urban Legends, Adidas, Certified, and The Recording Academy.

'ITSALLBLACKMUSIC PRESENTS' is a nascent integrated edutainment media platform and live events company dedicated to celebrating and amplifying the rich history of the Black experience. Through events, storytelling, and education, the company explores the past, present, and future of influential genres of music and culture. 'ITSALLBLACKMUSIC PRESENTS' honors the values of peace, love, unity, and having fun, and pays homage to the artists, movements, and communities that shape the world.

"The success of hip hop, and its contributions to our city's economy and identity epitomize why New York City is a global hub for music and the creative capital of the world," said Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Pat Swinney Kaufman. "This partnership to present free block parties throughout New York City will showcase and celebrate our city's vibrant and dynamic musical talent, reminding the world of this genre's birthplace in the Bronx."

"The story of hip hop begins with NYCHA's Sedgwick Houses and has evolved on the very streets of New York City to become a global cultural movement," said New York City Housing Authority Chief Executive Officer Lisa Bova-Hiatt. "NYCHA residents are an integral part of that dynamically rich story, and we are excited that this new partnership between the city and 'ITSALLBLACKMUSIC PRESENTS' will allow them to celebrate hip hop in their neighborhoods and on the very streets where the genre was born."

"We are incredibly proud of the great number of alumni who have contributed to the growth of hip hop and the culture," said New York City Department of Education Chancellor David Banks. "We know that these events will also inspire our youth to use their unique gifts and talents to honor and celebrate hip hop's 50th anniversary."

"When we celebrate the legacy of hip hop, we uplift the entrepreneurial spirit of New York," said New York City Small Business Services Commissioner Kevin D. Kim. "The hip hop 50 '5x5 Block Party Series' pays tribute to hip hop's contributions to so many New York City communities."

"We are excited to highlight the '5x5 Block Party Series' concerts as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of hip hop in the city where it all began," said New York City Tourism + Conventions President and Chief Executive Officer Fred Dixon. "Hip hop is an influential piece of New York City's vibrant culture, and we look forward to showcasing that to visitors this summer and beyond through music, arts, food and more across the boroughs."

"There's no better way to experience the energy of New York City's culture and neighborhoods than a good old-fashioned block party, and no music is more woven into the fabric of our city and our communities than hip hop," said New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo. "I can't wait to check these 'ITSALLBLACKMUSIC PRESENTS' block parties out, where we can all come together and celebrate the legacy of hip hop right here in the city where it was born. I will see you there!"

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