45 years ago in the Bronx, DJ Kool Herc set off a worldwide revolution. The shockwaves from that Back to School Jam at 1520 Sedgwick Ave are still being felt today. Once dismissed as a passing fad, hip hop has become the dominant cultural force on earth. They used to do it out in the park—now rap’s greatest minds drop gems at the Kennedy Center and collect prestigious accolades. More than building up a multi-billion-dollar industry, hip hop has overcome oppression, permeated pop culture, and changed the way we move, dress, and express ourselves.
For over 20 years MASS APPEAL has documented this culture from the curb up. From the streets and the subway cars to the parks and the parking lots, the bandos to the bodegas, we keep it grimy.
We’re celebrating this major milestone by selecting the 45 GREATEST HIP HOP SONGS OF ALL TIME and highlighting the creative geniuses who brought them to life. Today we announce the formation of the MASS APPEAL BRAIN TRUST, a panel of experts tasked with curating and debating this pantheon of rap greatness.
But the cypher’s not complete without your voice. Stay tuned to Mass Appeal’s socials and let us know how to represent Hip Hop’s 45th Birthday the fullest —as we look ahead to the 50th. Drop your nominations for the HIP HOP BRAIN TRUST and 45 GREATEST HIP HOP SONGS OF ALL TIME in the comments.
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What started as a humble graffiti ‘zine in 1996 would soon grow to be one of the most trusted outlets for youth-spawned urban culture. Today, Mass Appeal is a media collective led by authentic voices and inspired minds. We are a platform for radical creatives who are transforming culture.