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Kamala Harris says hip-hop is ‘the ultimate American art form’ as she hosts a 50th anniversary party

Sep 9, 2023, 12:26 PM

Vice President Kamala Harris is seen on a video monitor as she speaks at a 50th anniversary celebra...

Vice President Kamala Harris is seen on a video monitor as she speaks at a 50th anniversary celebration of hip-hop at the Vice President's residence, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris on Saturday hosted a celebration of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary with appearances by some of the music genre’s pioneers and stars.

Common, Jeezy, MC Lyte and Roxanne Shante were among the hip-hop artists invited to join Harris for the party at the vice presidential residence.

Hip-hop’s 50th birthday has inspired a host of anniversary events this year. Many trace the genre’s creation to an Aug. 11, 1973, back-to-school party where 18-year-old Clive Campbell, also known as DJ Kool Herc, deejayed at a Bronx apartment building in New York City.

Harris said hip-hop is “the ultimate American art form” that “shapes every aspect of America’s popular culture.”

“Hip-hop culture is American culture,” she told the crowd.

Hip-hop has grown into a global artform, becoming one of the world’s most influential cultural forces, an integral part of social and racial justice movements and a multibillion-dollar industry built on generations of rapping, emceeing, deejaying, breaking and graffiti.

Harris noted that Public Enemy rapper Chuck D has described rap is “Black America’s CNN.”

“It has always channeled the voices of the people. It tells the stories that don’t make the news,” she said before joining her husband, Doug Emhoff, to watch musicians’ performances.

Saturday’s celebration was a collaboration with Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective and Live Nation Urban.

“This is a hip-hop household!” Emhoff said.

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Kamala Harris says hip-hop is ‘the ultimate American art form’ as she hosts a 50th anniversary party