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Governor Hochul Announces Start of I LOVE NY Summer of Hip Hop in Celebration of Genre's 50th Anniversary

Jul 19, 2023

Unveils Statewide Roster of Events, Concerts, and Exhibitions Hosted in Partnership with New York State to Commemorate Hip Hop's Birth in the Bronx

Launches "Hip Hop 50 Live at Yankee Stadium" Ticket Sweepstakes; New Yorkers Can Enter for a Chance to Win a VIP Experience for Two Here

I LOVE NY Launches Website and Digital Marketing Campaign Promoting Hip Hop Programming and Landmarks

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the start of the I LOVE NY Summer of Hip Hop, a statewide commemoration of the genre's 50th anniversary on August 11, 2023. Hosted in partnership with renowned cultural organizations including Lincoln Center and The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, the I LOVE NY Summer of Hip Hop will feature a line-up of concerts, exhibitions, performances, and other family-friendly programming across the State.

"The birth of hip-hop in New York set off a musical revolution that reverberated around the world," Governor Hochul said. "Fifty years later, the hip-hop genre is an essential part of New York's cultural fabric as it continues to tell the story of our great state. I am excited to celebrate that legacy with our Summer of Hip Hop series and urge New Yorkers and visitors to visit one of our events, participate in our ticket giveaway, and learn more about hip-hop's rich history in New York State." 

"Hip-hop is more than a genre of music; it is a culture rooted in four principles - peace, love, unity and having fun," said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado. "Incredibly, this culture took shape from the margins of society, and was created by communities too often unseen and unheard. Now the culture is a global phenomenon for all to see, hear and be influenced by. And to think it all started right here in New York, the Bronx to be exact. I can't think of a better place to celebrate the impact of 50 years of hip-hop than the Empire State."   

The I LOVE NY Summer of Hip Hop will feature four anchor events hosted and co-presented by New York State:

Great New York State Fair (Central New York)

Adding to the star-studded Chevrolet Music Series line-up featuring performances from Ludacris, Salt-N-Pepa, Doechii, and Yung Gravy, Governor Hochul today announced that hip hop pioneer and 2023 GRAMMYs Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Slick Rick will perform at the Great New York State Fair's Suburban Park Stage at 2:00PM on Saturday, August 26. In addition, the much-anticipated, 180-ton Sand Sculpture located in the Center of Progress building will feature a large-scale tribute to 50 years of hip hop in New York State. The Fair begins Wednesday, August 23 and continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 4. Admission tickets, expected to go on sale soon at, will cost $6 for adults, and are free for those who are 12 years old and younger, and 65 years old and older.

Lincoln Center Hip-Hop Week (New York City)

Governor Hochul today announced that New York State is the Lead Civic Partner for Hip-Hop Week at Lincoln Center's Summer for the City series. Taking place from August 9-12, Hip-Hop Week will invite New Yorkers to experience hip hop past and present with 12 free events ranging from live performances by Rakim and Big Daddy Kane, to family-friendly silent discos and creative workshops, to freestyle battles and dance competitions.

Strong National Museum of Play (Finger Lakes)

In Rochester, New York State is partnering with the Strong Museum to present Re-Play: 50 Years of Hip-Hop Fun. The year-long exhibit opening in August will explore hip hop's wide-ranging cultural influences and its emergence as a creative outlet and source of joy, fun, and play amid a period of cultural unrest in New York City. Visitors will be able to connect with hip hop history through artifacts like the dual Technic turntables that DJs used to spin the genre's first beats in the 1970s to rapping Mickey Mouse dolls and DJ Barbie Mini Boomboxes that brought hip hop's influence to the main stream and homes across America.

New York State Office of General Services Summer at the Plaza (Capital Region)

This year, the New York State Office of General Services' Summer at the Plaza will feature a 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop show as part of its Capital Concert Series followed by the return of the Black Arts and Cultural Festival in a new, extended format. The August 2 concert will feature a Capital Region Battle of the DJs hosted by DJ Biz of Hot 99.1 and performances from Big Daddy Kane, Roxanne Shanté and Black Sheep. The fun continues with a three-day Festival celebrating Black art, culture, community, history, music, and dance. The Festival program includes Teen Night (August 3) featuring young, aspiring singers, steppers, dancers, rappers and lyricists; Gospel Night (August 4) featuring the best of the Capital Region's choirs; and the Grand Rising Health and Wellness Fair leading into Old School Meets New School R&B Night with Keri Hilson and Sonny Bivins Manhattans (August 5).

In addition, Governor Hochul announced the launch of an I LOVE NY Summer of Hip Hop ticket sweepstakes for Hip Hop 50 Live at Yankee Stadium. New Yorkers can enter the sweepstakes for a chance to see headliners including Run DMC, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Ice Cube, Lil Kim, Wiz Khalifa, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, Fat Joe, and Kid Capri perform live at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, the birthplace of hip hop. Learn more about how to enter for a chance to win a VIP experience for two here 

To promote these events and dozens more, I LOVE NY unveiled a dedicated landing page for the I LOVE NY Summer of Hip Hop. The website features a map of hip hop programming taking place across the State around the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop and throughout the summer. I LOVE NY will also launch a digital marketing campaign celebrating New York's central role in hip hop history and encouraging visitors to experience the I LOVE NY Summer of Hip Hop first-hand. 

Today's announcements complement the I LOVE NY Black Travel initiative, announced by Governor Hochul in February 2023 as part of Black History Month. The program actively promotes New York State as a great vacation destination for Black travelers. Efforts will include a dedicated presence on the I LOVE NY website and a promotional campaign based on market research and stakeholder outreach that highlights existing assets and supports new programming to provide a direct invitation welcoming Black visitors and their families to experience New York's unparalleled Black history, culture, food, arts and events.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "The I LOVE NY Summer of Hip Hop will showcase the music and culture that was born in The Bronx and has grown to embrace a global audience. New York State's partnership on this series of commemorative concerts and events will celebrate that legacy and encourage visitors and residents alike to explore different regions of the state this summer."

Empire State Development Vice President and Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, "New York State is proud to celebrate hip hop's golden anniversary with special events and tributes throughout the Empire State. I LOVE NY is excited to promote the state's hip hop history, highlighting everything from commemorative concerts and block parties, to unique exhibits and dance and DJ performances. With I LOVE NY's new dedicated anniversary website, it'll be easier than ever for hip hop fans to plan a trip and fall in love with New York."

New York State Office of General Services Commissioner Jeanette Moy said, "New York is the birthplace of one of the world's most influential and transformative music genres and cultures, and no matter where you are from, hip hop has touched you through song, fashion, or art. For a half-century, hip hop has influenced the world by breaking down barriers and creating a space where everyone has the ability to express themselves. The Office of General Services is proud to participate in New York State's celebration with a 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop show that will place a spotlight on New York hip hop artists and DJs."

New York State Council on the Arts Executive Director Mara Manus said, "Hip hop's phenomenal influence on arts and culture cannot be overstated. Fifty years later, hip hop has shaped and inspired all genres of music, dance, drama, literature, and visual art. An explosion of expression, New York is the home of hip-hop and we are thrilled to see so many celebrations across the state recognizing this important cultural anniversary."

Great New York State Fair Interim Fair Director Sean Hennessey said, "The Great New York State Fair is proud and honored to be included in New York State and I LOVE NY's Summer of Hip Hop. Survey results and feedback from fairgoers show that Hip Hop draws big crowds at The Fair. Last year, we saw four of our largest concert crowds to date - and three of them were for Hip Hop shows! This year, Hip Hop musical acts make up about one-eighth of the national recording artists and entertainment acts in our Chevrolet Music Series. We look forward to bringing legends like Slick Rick, Salt-N-Pepa and Ludacris to The Fair this year, and introducing fairgoers to up-and-coming talent too. The Fair, which runs August 23 through Labor Day, is the best value in entertainment! Watching every performance is included in the admission cost to The Fair."

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Ehrenkranz Chief Artistic Officer Shanta Thake said, "We're excited to celebrate Hip-Hop, which is so quintessentially New York and influences so many areas of art-making and elements of our culture. We're proud to join so many organizations in this celebration and are thankful to the State for their support.

The Strong National Museum of Play President and CEO Steve Dubnik said, "Hip hop channeled the angst of a generation into a communal site of play and musical innovation. We're excited to explore that history in Re-Play: 50 Years of Hip-Hop Fun and to join with Governor Hochul and New York State in support of the statewide Summer of Hip Hop celebration. 

New York Yankees Senior Vice President Scott Krug said, "We are thrilled to commemorate the history and cultural influence of a musical genre born in the Bronx when we host Hip Hop 50 Live at Yankee Stadium on August 11. It was extremely important to our organization that this event take place at our venue, to ensure that Hip Hop's anniversary is celebrated within the community where it first took root. Great care was taken to reflect the different generations of artists that have contributed along the way — from DJ Kool Herc, who brought the Hip Hop sound to life on Sedgwick Avenue in 1973, to legends such as Run DMC, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and the Bronx's own Fat Joe. We are also excited to be part of the Governor's I LOVE NY Summer of Hip Hop initiative, which is shining a spotlight on music that has profoundly impacted art and culture around the world."