If you are down with the culture but you’ve never visited New York City, you are missing a piece to the puzzle. You gotta complete the cypher. It is a must to visit the motherland, aka concrete jungle; aka New York City, at least once in a lifetime for any Hip Hop head around the world. Until you experience it in person, it is hard to imagine the street struggle mixed up with the fancy Manhattan lifestyle. Vibe out in the city or as Mos Def says, “Feel the City Breathing” and understand the cause behind the outbreak of Hip Hop culture. This is definitely something that must be witnessed in person.
Even though there are way too many sites that peeps should visit while in the “Mecca”, there are some historical sites that you simply must visit. One of such places is definitely the legendary 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, where the father of our culture Kool Herc threw his first party in 1973. 1520 Sedgwick Ave is recognized by many as the birthplace of Hip Hop. The other historical spots that you have to visit are:
1. Rocksteady Park (98h Street and Amsterdam Ave)
Famous spot, where Rock Steady Crew would get down in early 1980’s.
2. 5 Pointz (Davis Street)
Graffiti Mecca: http://5ptz.com/graff/
Besides the recommended sites, visitors should experience the vibe in all five boroughs of the city and walk the bridges of Brooklyn and Queens.
If you do not want to tour on your own, you can take a Hip Hop tour organized by the Hip Hop pioneers. Hush Tours allows you the opportunity to experience original Hip Hop cultural sightseeing with legends like Grandmaster Caz, Kurtis Blow and others. Hush tours offer different tour options like the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and the graffiti tours. Hush tours are so popular that it is recommended to book a tour way ahead of time to secure a spot. For more information, check out: http://www.hushtours.com.
If you are looking to take Bboy workshops, don’t miss out on Ken Swift’s workshops taking place every Tuesday. For full info, make sure to hit up Ken on Facebook.
Also, if you are planning to visit New York in the summer, make sure to check out the Rock Steady Crew Anniversary taking place late July.
In November, Afrika Bambaataa and Zulu Nation celebrate their annual Zulu Nation Anniversary.
Either way, if you plan to come out to New York make sure you plan your trip well ahead, absorb the vibe and experience the birthplace of Hip Hop.