“You never thought Hip Hop would take it this far”
“Juicy” by The Notorious B.I.G.

Birthed in the urban communities of New York City in the early 1970s, Hip Hop has gone on to become a worldwide phenomenon. Created from nothing, the culture outgrew its humble beginnings from block parties in the Bronx to packing sold-out stadiums across the globe.

And to pay homage we at the Music District, in collaboration with the Downtown Fort Collins Creative District, are hosting Hip Hop History Week: a 7-day commemoration of Hip Hop culture spanning November 9-15.

The weeklong celebration is loaded with events focused on Hip Hop culture, including workshops, exhibits, performances, meet-ups and listening parties. All elements of the culture (DJ, MC, Graffiti, B-Boy/Girl) are represented in Hip Hop History Week’s programming.

We kick off the festivities November 9 at the Music District with a Sampling Workshop hosted by Fort Collins Hip Hop duo, Kind Dub. These veteran music producers will take you through the controversy, legality and artform of sampling and explore the evolution from analog hardware samplers to modern-day practices of sampling in the digital age. Expect to see some live performance sampling as well, including a beat made entirely of Marvin Gaye vocal samples.

Then, join us again Friday, November 10 at the Music District for a Movie Night viewing of Ice-T’s 2012 documentary, “Something from Nothing: Da Art of Rap”, which features cameos and soundbites from some of Hip Hop’s most legendary pioneers. The film showing will be followed up with a group discussion about the films significance and topics, lead by Darrie Burrage.

On Saturday, the Creative Community Center is hosting a Graffiti Exploration at 1pm, hosted by local artist Paul Lukes. Learn the history of tagging, the techniques behind various handstyles, and even walk away with your own tagged artwork. Later, back at the Music District, we invite you to a Hip Hop Dance Workshop lead by DeAndre Carroll at 4pm. Attendees will be immersed in the history and culture of Hip Hop’s most physical element; learning a handful of different styles and movements, tailored for beginner-level instruction.

Picking back up Monday, November 13, Hip Hop History Week takes over the Art Lab in downtown Fort Collins for a DJ Meet Up. DJing is the foundational element from which the rest of Hip Hop is built upon. This opentable scratch session is a gathering place for DJs to jam and build musical community around the art of scratching and turntablism. From experienced DJs to absolute beginners, this event is for anyone who wants to jump on the turntables.

To celebrate dance and Hip Hop, the Music District is partnering with the Mightrockmorez to present an open community Dance Cypher Tuesday, November 14. Hosted at the Music District, expect a DJ dropping audio gems and a dance floor full of breaking flava’. Come by and learn some moves from some of the best in Colorado.

Rounding out programming for Hip Hop History Week is the Critical Albums: Listening Party on Wednesday, November 15. Slated to be held at the Music District and hosted by Kyle Eustice (HipHopDX staff writer & editor) and Jamaal Curry (entrepreneur and entertainer), the duo will lead a group critique and discussion of the following works: The Beastie Boys’ License To Ill, Public Enemy’s Fear Of ABlack Planet, JAY-Z’s 4:44, and Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN.

Hip Hop History Week aims to shine light on Hip Hop in the Fort Collins community, while also celebrating Hip Hop’s influence in uplifting disadvantaged populations across the globe. It also serves as reminder that although Hip Hop’s integration into the mainstream has made “Rap” synonymous with “Hip Hop”, the culture of Hip Hop has much deeper roots. Hip Hop has always been music of the people; historically rooted in social change.

Thursday, November 16 join us at the Music District for Songs for Social Justice, hosted by acclaimed vocalist Anthony P. McGlaun. The event will feature a performance-panel discussion where artists, all of whom tackle social justice issues, perform varying genres of music.

If you are interested in attending these events, follow the links to RSVP, or check out our full list of events to learn more and RSVP.