Blockbuster slate of hip hop classics coming to exclusive limited edition vinyl
Kicking off this summer, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe), the global catalog division of Universal Music Group (UMG), announces the first of its immersive celebrations for of the birth of hip hop and rap’s 50th birthday. Hip Hop 50 – Honoring 50 Years of Hip Hop: A Legacy of Rhythm, Revolution, and Soul kicks off with a logo and branding designed by one of the culture’s most influential artists and designers, Eric Haze, who was at the forefront of the hip hop movement. Renowned for creating seminal logos and album artwork for The Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, EPMD, MTV, and countless others, his art piece, the Hip Hop at 50 logo– will be among the essential graphics for packaging on upcoming releases and figure prominently in various events and activations.
“It is a great honor being asked to create the logo for this moment in culture and this year’s celebration,” Haze says. “Hip hop’s 50th anniversary is an amazing milestone for those who have grown up in the community since its inception. We always knew it was here to stay. Its enduring significance is undeniable as it continues to evolve and surprise.”
Rap music was born on street corners and in public parks, originating from a grassroots underground art form in the seventies, and quietly overtook popular culture as a force for change and became the soundtrack to one generation after another. Each decade has yielded its superstars, ranging from Public Enemy and LL Cool J in the 80s to Onyx and Salt-n-Pepa during the 90s and turn-of-the-century icons Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne in the aughts and beyond, representing everywhere from the East Cost to the Deep South. Along the way, these artists have earned Grammy Awards, picked up RIAA Diamond certifications, and sold out stadiums and arenas. Their enduring influence speaks to the timelessness of hip-hop now and forever.
The partnership with Haze remains emblematic of the connection between Hip Hop 50 and the genre’s golden age. Led by UMe Urban, this initiative will trace the history of rap music with a series of extraordinary anniversary editions of classic albums on exclusive vinyl colorways throughout 2023. These LPs span Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded on June 2nd, Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III (Deluxe) on June 9th, and Salt-n-Pepa’s Very Necessary on October 13th. In the fall, releases include Gang Starr’s Daily Operation, LL Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out, Onyx’s Bacdafucup, and Guru’s Jazzmatazz Vol. 1 on November 3rd, followed by Public Enemy’s It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back on November 10th.
Colorways and details will be revealed soon for these limited edition pressings.