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The True Story Behind the Birth of Hip-Hop

By Kiani Belgrave

Happy anniversary Hip-hop!

On Wednesday (August 11), we celebrate the 48th anniversary of the birth of the culture we love. On this day in 1973, hip-hop was born in a tiny rec room at 1520 Sedgewick Avenue in the Bronx, New York City. Buzzing local DJ Kool Herc and his sister Cindy Cambell after not having the money to buy back-to-school clothes.

“When you go back to school, you want to go with things that nobody has so you can look nice and fresh,” Campbell said. At the time Cindy’s neighborhood youth corp paychecks only paid $45 every two weeks, not enough for the clothes she wanted to buy. “That’s when I had the concept and idea to do the back-to-school party,” she said. Cindy recruited her brother, knowing he had the equipment and could draw the crowd. 

“When people will say ‘hip-hop just started’, it didn’t; it was a whole plan and concept that went behind it,” Campbell says. And just like that, two teens from the Bronx ignited a fire that would start a culture that spread like wildfire!