By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
In a historic event that will pay homage to the roots of hip-hop, the legendary Yankee Stadium in the Bronx will host a star-studded concert commemorating the 50th anniversary of the genre.
Live Nation, the prominent entertainment company, has announced that the much-anticipated celebration, aptly named “Hip-Hop 50 Live,” will take place on August 11, symbolizing the day that hip-hop culture was born.
The concert holds even greater significance than initially anticipated.
It could be the final show for hip-hop trailblazers Run-DMC, who will grace the stage as the headlining act.
Titled “Bottom of the 9th … The Walk Off,” their set alludes to the possibility that this performance will be the group’s last, adding excitement and nostalgia to the event.
Unfortunately, according to organizers, an original invitation extended to the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) to cover the show from backstage will no longer be honored.
The NNPA, representing over 230 African-American newspapers and media companies, including esteemed publications like Rolling Out, EBONY, The New York Amsterdam News, Chicago Defender, and the Philadelphia Tribune, expressed uncertainty about the access organizers would afford the Black Press.
NNPA President and CEO, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., is respected as a godfather among the hip-hop elite as the organizer of the Million Man March, executive director of the Hip Hop Summit, and for his role in the hip-hop-themed motion picture, “Belly.”
Chavis also serves as a special advisor to the Universal Hip Hop Museum board.
Rocky Bucano, the executive director of the Universal Hip-Hop Museum, revealed that Mass Appeal, the production company in charge of the event, holds the reins regarding press privileges.
Messages left for officials at Mass Appeal weren’t immediately returned.
The concert’s lineup is an homage to the pioneers of hip-hop, with DJ Kool Herc, credited as the originator of the genre, and his sister Cindy Campbell, who organized the seminal party in 1973, leading the “Pillars of Hip-Hop” set.
Accompanying them are esteemed figures such as Grandmaster Caz, Kurtis Blow, Mele Mel, Roxanne Shante, Scorpio, and The Sugar Hill Gang.
Joining Run-DMC as co-headliners are iconic artists Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, and Ice Cube, promising electrifying collaborations and surprise guest appearances during their performances.
The lineup boasts impressive talent, featuring T.I., Fat Joe, Common, EPMD, Slick Rick, Ghostface Killah, Lupe Fiasco, A$AP Ferg, and more.
The concert will also feature a “Queens of Hip-Hop” set, showcasing powerhouse female artists Eve, Lil Kim, Remy Ma, and Trina, with the possibility of additional guests joining them on stage.
To keep the energy flowing throughout the event, renowned DJs Battle Cat, Clark Kent, Mannie Fresh, and Marley Marl promise to provide captivating sets for what’s expected to be a sold-out crowd.
Speculation regarding Run-DMC’s future has been circulating since January, when co-founder Darryl “DMC” McDaniels hinted that the group, unable to carry on without the late DJ Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell, would bid farewell with one last monumental concert this year.
Speaking with LL Cool J’s Rock The Bells Radio, McDaniels acknowledged that Run-DMC’s essence rested in the triumvirate of talent, stating, “We can’t be Run-DMC without Jay.”
Many anticipate Run DMC’s final performance will count as a poignant tribute to their legacy and a testament to the enduring impact of their music.
Pre-sale tickets for “Hip-Hop 50 Live” are available through Ticketmaster.