This year marks the 50th anniversary of hip hop, the musical genre that debuted in the Bronx streets and fought its way into the mainstream – and a billion-dollar Grammy-heavy business – through two generations of poets, artists, and activists. From Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message” and Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power'' to Meek Mill’s “What’s Free,” hip hop has always reflected societal changes and challenges, whether economic inequality, incarceration, police brutality or racism, and the joy and profound ingenuity of its creators.


Trace hip hop's roots in cultural struggles from its founders to contemporaries in a conversation featuring Grammy award-winning rapper Kool Moe Dee, Grammy and Oscar award-winning rapper Rhymefest, radio and television personality Leon Rogers, Chicago-based musician and emcee Freddie Old Soul, and journalist Soren Baker. Moderated by IOP Pritzker Fellow and FirstRepair founder Robin Rue Simmons and DJ music by Charlie O'Neill.


In partnership with Black Action in Public Policy Studies (BAPPS) and the Organization of Black Students (OBS).