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‘Holla If Ya Hear Me’: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opens new 50 years of hip-hop exhibit

'I’m proud to celebrate this milestone in music history with The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,' says Darryl DMC McDaniels.

CLEVELAND — In celebration of hip-hop's 50 years, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland is preparing to debut a new exhibit known as Holla If Ya Hear Me this summer.

“The exhibit will feature never-before-seen artifacts from the Vanguards of the genre such as Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Kool Herc, Sylvia Robinson, Roxanne Shante, The Sugarhill Gang and more,” the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced Thursday. “The handbill from the ‘All Star Birthday Bash for DJ Kool Herc,’ which served as the birth of hip-hop at the 1520 Sedgewick Avenue house party (1973), will be on display along with artifacts from other key moments such as: the release of Rapper’s Delight; Kurtis Blow being the first rapper signed to a major label (1979); hip-hop's National TV debut (SNL/1981); and hip-hop's first rivalry (1984).”

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The Rock Hall says Holla If Ya Hear Me will continue through “the new school,” featuring artifacts from key moments like LL COOL J’s first single on Def Jam Records, Salt-N-Pepa’s jackets from the Push It video and more.

“A section focusing on the Moguls of hip-hop will bring the exhibit home and will include pieces from the first hip-hop billionaire, Jay-Z, as well as pieces from Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, Russell Simons and more,” the Rock Hall announced.

Other highlights? The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s education team will roll out a new resource collection to help students explore hip-hop history. There will also be special hip-hop merchandise available to commemorate its 50th anniversary.


Darryl DMC McDaniels

“Growing up in New York City, music was everywhere! When the reality of the struggle of life brought hell…music brought us heaven! Rock, Funk, Soul, Reggae, Metal, R+B, Jazz and Punk became the power that would be the foundation of sound for this new culture we call Hip Hop! I was a little kid with Rock N Roll dreams! Hip Hop allowed my Dream to come true! I’m proud to celebrate this milestone in music history with The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with their new exhibit. After all, I am The King of Rock!!!”


“Being the first female hip-hop group to have been certified with both a Gold and Platinum record was such an accomplishment. Going on to receive multiple platinum records and becoming one of the best-selling hip-hop groups of all time, was more than we could have hoped for. It was a major milestone in hip-hop’s trajectory over the past 50 years and we are so excited to be able to celebrate this important moment in music’s history with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. We are honored to be a part of the new Holla If Ya Hear Me exhibit and hope everyone enjoys seeing some of our most iconic and important pieces from our career.”

Chuck D

“The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has been recognizing hip-hop and its contributions to music since 2007 when it inducted Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. This year, the innovator of it all, DJ Kool Herc, will receive his Musical Influence Award, and Missy Elliott and Rage Against the Machine – two artists who show us all how far the genre can go – will be inducted. I'm honored to be a part of the Rock Hall's celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, both as a member of Public Enemy and as the co-creator and executive producer of the PBS/BBC docuseries "Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World.”

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