Universal Music Group has revealed plans for a programme of activity for fans to celebrate hip-hop’s 50th anniversary.
Music Week is also celebrating the genre’s landmark with our special new edition.
UMG’s activity began with the special lighting of New York’s iconic Empire State Building in gold, to celebrate the milestone birth of hip-hop in the city (August 11, 1973).
The lighting ceremony at the Empire State Building took place on Thursday (August 10) ahead of the anniversary and featured appearances from Def Jam Recordings artists Ja Rule, Ashanti and Jadakiss, followed by a special event in Brooklyn to count in the milestone date.
The Empire State Building will tonight shine its tower lights in gold in celebration of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary. These events mark the first of a series of special events, campaigns and releases that will celebrate hip-hop throughout 2023.
UMG has today launched HH50.com, a new dedicated hub where fans can find merchandise and drops from many of their favourite artists from the genre, including: Public Enemy, Ice Spice, Rae Sremmurd, Playboi Carti, Lil Wayne, Destroy Lonely and Ken Carson, among others.
It will also include specially curated content and playlists from UMG artists and labels, interactive lenses, a social content aggregator of HH50-related activity and map of HH50 events in the US throughout 2023. The site will also include a special playlist generator where fans can build their own hip-hop playlists, with more to be added and announced throughout the anniversary year.
Alexandra Hinkle, chief marketing officer, global consumer marketing at UMG, said: “Universal Music Group is incredibly excited to continue to support artists in celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. As a cornerstone of art and culture, built by the power and voices of black artists, hip-hop’s influence can be felt around the globe. This year we’re reflecting back on those voices who built the genre and shining a light on the next generation of artists who will shape its future with the launch of HH50.com, a new fan-dedicated hub that highlights this historic moment in time, and gives fans an opportunity to look back, participate and interact with the celebrations.
“UMG is honoured that multi-platinum, award-winning artists Ja Rule, Ashanti and Jadakiss will commemorate this golden anniversary by lighting up the Empire State Building in gold and will be supporting this historic moment with a curated celebration meant to unite artists, influential VIPs, and key innovators in the world of hip-hop, followed by a series of other events and activity to support this historic anniversary.”
Eric Alexander, VP, head of marketing strategy, global consumer marketing at UMG, added: “We chose New York to celebrate hip-hop at 50 because it is the birthplace of the genre and we are honoured to light up the Empire State Building with Ja Rule, Ashanti and Jadakiss. Following the ceremony, we’ll move the celebration across the river to Brooklyn for a special event. This activation is the first of several that UMG will have throughout the remainder of the year to celebrate our artists and labels that have helped shape and redefine the genre over the past five decades.”
Further events and activity from UMG’s labels and artists will be announced throughout 2023.