iHeartRadio Reveals New Podcast, Rare Tributes To Honor 50 Years Of Hip-Hop

By Tony M. Centeno

January 10, 2023

Hip-Hop is turning 50 in 2023. In honor of Hip-Hop's birthday, iHeartRadio is preparing to commemorate all the historic moments and iconic artists who have impacted pop culture around the world.

On Tuesday, January 10, iHeartMedia announces its yearlong celebration iHeartRadio Presents: 50 Years of Hip-Hop, which will salute the Hip-Hop community with a series of special programs and once-in-a-lifetime events. Beginning in February, iHeartRadio will launch its 12-part iHeartPodcast series 50 Years of Hip-Hop hosted by Fab 5 Freddy. The podcast will center around stories about the legendary artists and groundbreaking events that helped turn the art of rapping into the influential genre it is today.

“Over the last five decades hip-hop has evolved from a burgeoning fringe genre to one of the biggest selling formats in music and a leading force in global culture,” said Doc Wynter, President of Hip Hop and R&B Programming for iHeartMedia. “We look forward to celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout the year with the artists and creators that shaped this genre."

In addition to the podcast, iHeartRadio will also celebrate Black History Month in February by sharing personal anecdotes about how popular rap artists like Diddy, E-40, Ice Cube, Young Dro, T.I., GloRilla, Toosii and NLE Choppa fell in love with Hip-Hop. The following month, the 2023 iHeartRadio Music Awards will pay special tribute to Def Jam Records, the world’s first Hip-Hop label, with an explosive performance.

The ladies of Hip-Hop who continue to inspire generations of artists today will also be recognized. In honor of Women’s Month, iHeartRadio will honor the pioneers who paved the way during a special that will air on International Women's Day on March 8. Halfway through the festivities in June, iHeartRadio will celebrate Black Music Month by shedding a light on how rap has inspired today's biggest artists. Following an energetic 50-day countdown to Hip-Hop’s birthday, a special edition of iHeartRadio’s Living Black! produced by Emmy and Grammy Award winning, Rikki Hughes will air on over 550 stations in August.

iHeartRadio's celebration of the historic genre will continue well past the rap-based holiday with rare performances from the biggest Hip-Hop artists in the industry during the 2023 iHeartRadio Music Festival in September and iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour in December. While the act of rapping can be traced back centuries to a few cultures in Africa and the Caribbean, the use of rap in popular music began back in the early 1970s. The United States formally recognized August 11, 1973 as the official birthday of Hip-Hop.

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