The Message


The Revolutionary Power of  Hip Hop

The Message explores the origins of both hip hop and rap as they emerged from New York’s South Bronx inner city in the late 1970s. Museum visitors will learn about the era’s Black and Latino youth culture, which incorporated DJ-driven music, breakdancing, graffiti art, and streetwear fashion into the amalgam of hip hop. The gallery emphasizes how technology helps drive hip hop through the sampling, scratching, and beatbox work of its early turntablist pioneers. Hip hop and rap’s stability throughout the 20th century and into the 21st include activist rap and hip hop artists whose messages speak truth to power. Museum visitors can explore these messages and how they resonate with the unempowered and disenfranchised in both the U.S. and across the globe. While in the gallery, guests can produce their own original beats and learn about some of the genre's most revered legends.