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The Bronx Receives Hip-Hop Honors, Smithsonian Names NYC Borough ‘Place of Invention’

Hip-Hop Birthplace
commons.wikimedia.org

The birthplace of hip-hop will finally get its well-deserved recognition. The New York Daily News is reporting that the Smithsonian will honor the New York borough of the Bronx as a “Place of Invention.”

The famed museum is planning an exhibit honoring key cities for their innovations and inventions. The Boogie Down is being recognized for their invention of hip-hop music.

The city joins other innovative metropolitan areas including Hollywood — for their contribution to the film industry and Silicon Valley for their innovations in technology.

Hip-hop was developed in the south Bronx during the late 1970s by its founding father DJ Kool Herc.

The Jamaican-born artist would deejay parties, helping develop the art of mixing and capturing the breakbeat on records.

Other Bronx DJs like Grand Wizzard Theodore, Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash elevated the technique to scratching and beat juggling.

Rappers like KRS-One, the Furious Five, Melle Melle, Busy Bee Starski, the Cold Crush Brothers, Lord Finesse, T La Rock, Fat Joe, Big Pun, Ultramagnetic MCs and the late Tim Dog are among the distinguished natives of the Bronx.

Laurel Fritzsch, who is curating the Bronx portion of the Smithsonian exhibit, wanted to pay homage to a community as opposed to one ideal figure.

“We wanted to show that it’s not just a single inventor who creates something, but really a community that creates the right recipe for an invention,” he said.

The Bronx section of the exhibit will feature hundreds of treasured items from the past including boomboxes, hip-hop flyers, music videos and old vinyl records. Visitors will also get the opportunity to learn how to mix and scratch on turntables at the exhibit.

Grand Wizzard Theodore, who is credited with invention of scratching, applauds the Smithsonian for honoring the Bronx pioneers.

“I think it’s really cool that they’re doing something like this,” he said. “People need to know the history behind it all.”

Next: Top 10 Brooklyn-Inspired Rap Songs

Listen to KRS-One’s ‘South Bronx’

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