Hip Hop’s 50th anniversary is right around the corner, and there will be festivities and celebrations in order for the momentous occasion. Queens legend Nas is planning a special collaborative project with Mass Appeal chief creative officer Sacha Jenkins and Showtime.
On Wednesday (May 19), Variety reported Nas and Jenkins are celebrating Hip Hop’s birthday with Hip Hop 50, a documentary series highlighting the culture’s rich history and diving deep into the subcultures birthed through the years.
“There are so many more stories,” Nas told Variety. “I’m opening up with this, but Hip Hop 50 is a multi-tier initiative, created by Mass Appeal [in partnership with CBS Viacom], and we built this platform to ensure the anniversary of hip-hop is celebrated in a real iconic way, and that everybody should be involved with this.”
He continued, “This is something that’s coming up that we don’t want to just pass by like it’s small. This is the biggest birthday in the world. You’re going to see the stories from every element of hip-hop, whether it’s the street stories, whether it’s the MCing. Whatever it is, we want to celebrate and push this birthday party to the max.”
Sacha Jenkins attributed 1973 as Hip Hop’s birth year and connected it to the Jamaican dancehall sound system culture that legendary DJ Kool Herc adopted for his parties.
“’73 marks the party that Kool Herc threw for his sister in the basement of a building in the Bronx,” Jenkins added. “‘77 definitely put a battery in some people’s backs who didn’t have the equipment. Still, a little before people were out in the parks, proto-hip-hop was happening as early as ‘73, and that’s what is going to commemorate this 50th anniversary in 2023.”
Hip Hop 50 already has several documentaries lined up for its launch. Some of the documentaries that fans can expect are Untitled Ralph McDaniels Documentary which focuses on the iconic music video TV show Video Music Box and Push It, which focuses on the women who’ve raised the bar in Hip Hop.
Nas has the funds to finance a massive project like this. In April, the King’s Disease rapper struck gold with his investment in the cryptocurrency platform Coinbase. The cryptocurrency exchange reached over $100 billion in valuation once it hit the Nasdaq April 14. Nas and his firm reportedly clocked in somewhere between $34.76 million and $173.8 million.