2023 is hip-hop’s official 50th anniversary, and celebrations are taking place all year to pay homage to the impact hip-hop and rap have had on the world since that fateful rec room party in the Bronx, New York. The Recording Academy honored 50 years of hip-hop (give or take a decade) at its most recent Grammy Awards ceremony, and a few other institutions have events planned throughout the year.
One such important institution to the growth of hip-hop is BET; purveyors of the culture have been allowed to shine for over 30 years on the network thanks to Rap City, 106 & Park, and the BET Hip-Hop Awards. BET has plenty of honors planned as well, and today, rolled out the first: An ode to hip-hop delivered in poetic form by The Roots frontman Black Thought.
In a black-and-white video directed by famed video director Benny Boom, Black Thought details the origins and growth of hip-hop and its importance to those who love it as scenes from across its storied history play out on screen.
In a statement, Thought said, “I remember a time before hip hop and it’s something that we need to cherish and appreciate and not take for granted because it’s not guaranteed. Even though it’s always been there for people for the past few generations, it’s not guaranteed that it’s going to always be there if we don’t, you know what I’m saying, treat it the way we’re supposed to and continue to pour ourselves and to invest into it in an authentic way.”
You can watch Black Thought deliver his “Love Letter To Hip-Hop” above.