Vice President Kamala Harris hosted a “50 Years of Hip-Hop Celebration” on Saturday that brought out stars like Doug E. Fresh, Remy Ma, Omarion, and Deon Cole.
The celebration of the culture took place at her home, with more than 400 guests attending. The politico shared the importance of the art form to the Black community and how the genre is the heartbeat of the world.
“Hip hop is the ultimate American art form,” Kamala told The Hill. “Born at a back to school party in the Bronx, raised on the streets of Philadelphia, Chicago, Oakland and Atlanta, hip hop now shapes nearly every aspect of America’s popular culture and it reflects the incredible diversity and ingenuity of the American people.”
“To be clear, hip hop culture is America’s culture,” Kamala said. “It is music and melody and rhyme. Hip hop is also an ethos of strength and self-determination; of ambition and aspiration; of pride, power and purpose. Hip hop is a declaration of identity. It says I love who I am. I represent where I come from, and I know where I’m going.”
The VP partnered with Live Nation Urban and Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective. The elite guest list included entertainers like Fat Joe, Remy Ma, Jeezy, MC Lyte, Roxanne Shante and Common, who was also a well-known fave of President Barack Obama.
Bronx rapper Fat Joe gifted the AKA with a pair of crispy Air Force Ones, although she told Harper’s Bazaar in 2020 that her favorite sneakers are Converse.
— Complex Sneakers (@ComplexSneakers) September 9, 2023
Lil’ Wayne also performed some of his greatest hits, hilariously including “Mrs. Officer.” The rapper endorsed former President Donald Trump in 2020 and faced heavy scrutiny for the decision.
🔥🚨DEVELOPING: Lil Wayne performed "Mrs. Officer" at the 50th anniversary of hip-hip that was held at Kamala Harris house in DC. pic.twitter.com/wuEu7WaujN
— Dom Lucre | Breaker of Narratives (@dom_lucre) September 10, 2023
Lil Wayne meets Kamala Harris in DC pic.twitter.com/gKYWtsf12i
— 2Cool2Blog (@2Cool2Blog) September 9, 2023
Check out the social media reactions to Vice President Kamala Harris’ dance moves and pictures from her “50 Years of Hip Hop Celebration” after the flip!
Partying Or “Pandering?” Social Media Users React To Kamala Harris’ Star-Studded “50 Years of Hip Hop Celebration”
Social media-goers wondered why there weren’t more heavy hitters like Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar or J. Cole in attendance. However, performing at such events often reads like an endorsement of the politician.
Several congressional Black Caucus members didn’t miss their opportunity to turn up. Chairman Sen. Raphael Warnock, Rep. Steven Horsford, Rep. Cori Bush and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore mingled and enjoyed the festivities.
Hip hop is a celebration of Black joy, freedom, and liberation. It was my honor to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this ultimate American art form by hosting the first-ever hip hop event at the Vice President's Residence. pic.twitter.com/sPsJV89wO1
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) September 10, 2023
@VP Kamala Harris created her own cypher to celebrate 50 years of #HipHop at her home as an American music genre, an expression of self-determination and ambition, and global phenomenon. #HipHopAt50 #Historic pic.twitter.com/WMpbMZyseu
— Janai Nelson (@JNelsonLDF) September 9, 2023
Although it was a vibey event for all those in attendance, it set the internet ablaze with criticism for the 58-year-old. Many felt she was pandering to secure the Black vote.
An X user tweeted, “What better way to kick off the Democrats’ election season [than] by having Kamala Harris pander to the Hip Hop community at the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop celebration”
What better way to kick off the Democrats election season by having Kamala Harris pander to the Hip-Hop community at the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop celebration pic.twitter.com/BGJunbPagS
— SHO’NUFF (@IAMSHO_NUFF) September 10, 2023
Some users came to her defense.
“If they do nothing it’s “they not looking out for us” and when they do for us it’s “pandering” or insufficient. Do y’all know what y’all want?”
If they do nothing it’s “they not looking out for us” and when they do for us it’s “pandering” or insufficient.
Do y’all know what y’all want?
— Hazy Splendid 🇵🇦 🌊🐶🍔🌮🌭🌯 (@HazySplendid) September 1, 2023
Others roasted her dance moves.
People dance on the lawn at the Vice President's residence for Kamala Harris' 50th anniversary celebration of hip hop pic.twitter.com/HKggI2AQfG
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) September 9, 2023
“She can say she’s Black all she wants but she sure don’t dance with any rhythm. Sit down, Kamala. Go do something!”
Comedian Deon Cole introduced the CEO of the Recording Academy, Harvey Mason Jr., at the top of Saturday’s soiree. Mason expressed how deeply Hip Hop shaped his life and musical career.
“Hip hop changed my world,” Mason said. “I was growing up in the 80s right when hip hop was bursting onto the scene. It was on the radio, it was on MTV, it was in magazines, it was in culture. It was everything that I love about the genre.”
In addition, he noted how Hip Hop permeates every genre of music.
“Now 50 years later, there’s not a single genre that has not absorbed something essential from hip hop,” Mason shared.
Although Hip Hop is undeniably influential, the genre also faces heavy criticism for blatant misogynistic, sexual and violent lyrics. However, there are a variety of Hip Hop tracks to choose from, including Gospel rap.
“[Hip hop] has always channeled the voices of the people,” Kamala contends. “It tells the stories that don’t make the news. But as the great Chuck D once said, rap is black America’s CNN. And by telling the truth, hip hop calls us to action.”
Kamala added, “generations of hip hop artists helped to elevate the collective conscience through their voices.”
“Half a century later, it is clear hip hop will not be erased. Hip hop is here to stay,” said Harris.
Happy Anniversary Hip Hop! Check out more pictures from Kamala Harris’ Star-Studded “50 Years of Hip Hop Celebration” below.
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