On August 11, 1973, hip-hop was born at a party thrown by DJ Kool Herc at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx. Forty-five years later, hip-hop is the most ubiquitous cultural entity in America — everyone’s a rapper, everyone wants to be part of The Culture.
Although hip-hop has ballooned into a massive, sometimes misused and often innovated upon, entity, we’re still able to trace the genre’s lineage with relative ease. Speaking with five new school artists—tobi lou, Jack Harlow, Phora, femdot and Mr Eazi—DJBooth had each act break down the importance and impact of their favorite classic rap song.
Hip-hop may be young, but the genre’s influence exists outside of Western time. Listening to these new school artists wax poetic about songs that changed their lives, despite dropping before they were born, is a reminder that hip-hop is bigger than what any one person could have imagined. As Chicago rapper tobi lou points out: “Hip-hop is anything you want it to be. That’s the beauty of hip-hop: you can make it anything you want it to be, and it’s not on some corny shit.”
Head on over to TIDAL to find our interviews with five young artists. While their song selections varied, there was one common thread tying all of the answers together: undeniable passion. From Tupac and A Tribe Called Quest to Kanye West, when it comes to hip-hop, we undoubtedly love this shit.