Happy birthday, hip-hop! 50 years ago today (August 11), DJ Kool Herc dragged two turntables and a sound system – which he’d brought with him from Jamaica – to a block party in the Bronx. As he mixed records, his friend Coke La Rock jumped on the mic and started rapping. That day in 1973, hip-hop was born.
To mark the occasion, a special birthday all-day celebration will take place at Sparks – the department store with a difference – in Broadmead tomorrow (August 12). Freestyle Bristol and Bris-Story have teamed up for a free family-friendly event to celebrate 50 years of hip-hop culture. With a whole host of activities lined up for The 4 Pillars Bristol between 12 pm and 9.30 pm.
The highlight has to be the graffiti workshops with the 4 Elements. Where you can you can practice your writing skills using an array of spray paints, stencils and paint pens. (An art form that will put you in good standing in Bristol.) It’s suitable for all ages too, including children and families, so maybe your little ones could become the next Banksy.
But that’s not all. Expect performances from local artists, DJs and breakdancers; a marketplace on-site, where you can discover unique hip-hop-inspired local brands selling clothes, merchandise, art and more; and in the Digital Corner, they’ll be showing music videos and mini-documentaries highlighting Bristol’s unique contribution to hip-hop culture.
There will also be two film screenings during the event. Firstly, Beat Street at 5 pm, which “captures the emerging hip hop culture that developed in the South Bronx during the 1980s” and features Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five, The Rock Steady Crew and Kool Herc. Then at 7.30 pm, the legendary Wild Style is focused on “a group of young graffiti artists.” You will need to book free tickets for the films, however, which are both rated age 15.
Afterwards, the real party kicks off at Basement 45 from 10 pm to 4 am. This official after-party will have you reminiscing about the golden age of hip-hop, as the likes of DJ Luynx, Boca 45, DJ Bunja, DJ Styles James 90, DJ Cridge and MC Kelz all tale to the booth. Tickets for the after-party cost £10:50 and can be purchased here.
To learn more about The 4 Pillars Bristol head here.