In celebration of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary, Amazon Music will pay tribute to hip-hop’s undeniable influence on music, culture, and society with 50 & Forever; bringing fans together to honor the genre’s legacy and highlight the artists of the future. Created by Rotation, 50 & Forever will acknowledge the importance of hip-hop with curated events, livestreams, playlists, original content, and new music delivered across platforms such as Amazon Music, Twitch, Audible, Amp, and Prime Video.
“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.”
Today, supporters can view Generational Queens, the first in an ongoing series of short films that will be released throughout the year by Amazon Music. Directed by Fenn O’Meally and featuring a Black, all-female cast, the film is centered around the first lady of hip-hop, Queen Latifah, and her groundbreaking feminist anthem, “U.N.I.T.Y.” The project also captures the journey of music discovery and the generational impact that hip-hop has on popular culture.
Rap Rotation Rewind in DJ Mode, hosted by legendary radio/television personality Free Marie is another sonic opportunity that listeners can take advantage of. Available to stream now, Rap Rotation Rewind in DJ Mode is an immersive listening experience that provides a steady stream of music from hip-hop’s five decades, curated by the team of experts from Amazon Music and drawn from audience’s listening habits. Fans can also listen to The 2010s: Hip-Hop, The 2000s: Hip-Hop, The ’90s: Hip-Hop, and The ’80s Hip-Hop via [RE]DISCOVER.
This weekend, the Dreamville Festival will once again be held in North Carolina. To celebrate this occasion, Amazon Music will host a special exhibit at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh on Friday, March 31. It will explore Dreamville’s long and storied history, with a carefully curated gallery of never-before-seen photographs and video from the label’s infancy to present day. Additionally, Dreamville and 50 & Forever will host a series of panels, workshops, and conversations on March 31, from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., which includes a conversation between 9th Wonder and B.Dot about North Carolina hip-hop history; a panel on the creation of the Creed III soundtrack, and more.
In May, the iconic Mary J. Blige is returning to Atlanta for the second annual Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit, curating four days of music, comedy, female empowerment, and community building. Here, 50 & Forever will livestream an unforgettable event, Mary J. Blige B-Sides: A Celebration of HipHop50 with Special Guests, at State Farm Arena on May 12. Hosted by Kenny Burns and DJ E-Class, the night will feature music spanning Mary J. Blige’s career includes special appearances from legendary artists like Jeezy, Busta Rhymes, Method Man, Jadakiss, and Jodeci, among others.
On the following day, 50 & Forever will also broadcast the summit’s series of panels and workshops, aimed at empowering women of the BIPOC community, and feature live tapings of podcasts like Angela Yee’s Lip Service, Don’t Call Me White Girl, and Earn Your Leisure.
Additional 50 & Forever activities honoring hip hop’s most important artists and milestones will be announced throughout the duration of the year. Stay tuned for more announcements in the future.