Amazon is paying tribute to hip-hop as the uniquely American music and cultural phenomenon turns 50 this year.
Amazon Music is paying tribute to hip-hop, which is generally considered to have originated at house parties in The Bronx during summer 1973, with a new multimedia program called “50 & Forever.” Created by Rotation, the hip-hop and R&B brand from Amazon Music, the offering includes curated events, livestreams, playlists, original content, and new music, and will span the Amazon Music, Twitch, Audible, Prime Video, and Amp platforms.
Hip-hop artists including J. Cole and Dreamville, Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, Jeezy, Busta Rhymes, Method Man, Jadakiss, DJ Drama, Jodeci, Free Marie, and Kenny Burns will be among the performers participating. Specific features of “50 & Forever” will include:
On Friday, May 12, hip-hop artist Mary J. Blige is hosting the second annual Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit in Atlanta, curating four days of female-centric music and comedy. 50 & Forever will be livestreaming a special event, “Mary J. Blige B-Sides: A Celebration of HipHop50 with Special Guests,” at State Farm Arena on Friday, May 12. The event will feature music spanning Mary J. Blige’s career and include special appearances from hip-hop artists like Jeezy, Busta Rhymes, Method Man, Jadakiss, Jodeci, and additional special guests.
On Saturday, May 13, “50 & Forever” will also livestream the summit’s series of panels and workshops. These female-led discussions will cover wellness, finance, beauty, tech, and music.
To kick off “50 & Forever,” Amazon Music released “Generational Queens,” the first in an ongoing series of short films that will be released throughout the year from Amazon Music. The film is centered around musician/actor Queen Latifah.
Throughout 2023, “50 & Forever” is providing specially curated original hip-hop content, playlists, and programming on Rap Rotation Rewind in DJ Mode, a new Amazon Music audio experience available to stream. In addition,
“This year, hip-hop fans around the world will come together to mark one of the culture’s most important milestones: the 50th anniversary of hip-hop,” said Tim Hinshaw, head of hip-hop and R&B for Amazon Music. “More than music, hip-hop has broken barriers and redefined culture across fashion, sports, film, and social movements. From art to activism, hip-hop hasn’t just changed history, but is history, and 50 & Forever pays tribute to the indelible mark that hip-hop has made on the culture.”
Additional 50 & Forever activities will be announced throughout 2023.