It’s a tale that’s been told for over four decades and counting, but a “Back to School Jam” party on August 11, 1973 at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in The Bronx, New York unknowingly at the time gave birth to a little thing we’ve come to know and love by two hyphenated words: Hip-Hop!
In the 48 years since that magical day, spearheaded by the “Founder Of Hip-Hop” himself, DJ Kool Herc, the world has never been the same and undoubtedly been changed for the best.
To celebrate the newly-enacted Hip-Hop History Month, officially passed by The U.S. Senate this past August, our crew decided to honor 20 pioneers in the game starting from the veterans of rap all the way to some current leaders of the new school. To do so, we took cues from the classic Yo! MTV Raps “musicards” of the past to deliver our own set of digital card collectibles we hope you’ll enjoy.
Whether you’re a fan of hip-hop’s Golden Era from the 80s to mid-90s, found yourself reveling in the reinvention that occurred during the 2000s or can appreciate the new wave of trap stars on the radio today, we did our best to pick the fan-favorites of the genre. If not, step to the mic and let us know who we missed!
Much like the collectible cards you’ve come to know and love, these include fun facts about the selected emcees that will either surprise you or confirm your status as a hip-hop scholar.
Keep scrolling to see our selection of Hip-Hop History Month digital collectible cards, which even includes a few “Special Edition” ones in the deck as well to honor those lost prematurely in the game:
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1. DJ Kool HercSource:Radio One Digital
DJ Kool Herc is considered the Father Of Hip-Hop.
2. Big Daddy KaneSource:Radio One Digital
Big Daddy Kane was a member of the infamous rap collective “The Juice Crew.”
3. KRS-1Source:Radio One Digital
“The Teacha” KRS-1 won one of biggest battles in hip-hop history versus Mc Shan and the Juice Crew.
4. Queen LatifahSource:Radio One Digital
In 1989, Latifah released her first album, All Hail to the Queen, which went on to sell more than 1 million copies.
5. A Tribe Called QuestSource:Radio One Digital
Tribe’s debut album People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm was the first to receive “5 Mics” from The Source Magazine.
6. Hip-Hop History Month: LL Cool JSource:Reach Media
One of Hip-Hop’s first Mainstream Stars, In 2021, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with an award for Musical Excellence
7. Eazy ESource:Radio One Digital
Dubbed the Godfather of Gangsta Rap, Eazy E was invited to the White House by then President George Bush in 1991. Eazy E donated $2,500 to his campaign for his stance against censorship.
8. 2 Pac and The Notorious B.I.G.Source:Radio One Digital
The Notorious B.I.G and Tupac did not start out as rivals. In fact, Biggie once asked Pac to be his manager.
9. Jay-ZSource:Radio One Digital
In 2021, Jay-Z won his 23rd Grammy Award, maintaining his career record for most Grammy wins by a rap artist.
10. OutkastSource:Radio One Digital
Originally known as 2 Shades Deep, OutKast drew inspiration for their first album from acts the Geto Boys, Snoop Dogg and A Tribe Called Quest.
11. NasSource:Radio One Digital
To mark the 20th anniversary of his groundbreaking debut album, Illmatic, Nas performed the project in its entirety with the National Symphony Orchestra at D.C.’s Kennedy Center.
12. Lauryn HillSource:Radio One Digital
In February 2021, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill officially sold 10 million records, making Hill the first female MC in history to go Diamond.
13. Lil WayneSource:Radio One Digital
In addition to being a rapper and business owner, Lil Wayne studied psychology at The University of Houston.
14. DMXSource:Radio One Digital
The name DMX came from a drum machine he used while staying at a group home. It was later interpreted as Dark Man X
15. Meek MillSource:Radio One Digital
Between the ages of 5 to 15, Meek barely spoke a single word following the murder of his father & instead chose to draw cartoons alone in his room.
16. DrakeSource:Radio One Digital
He may be a ‘Certified Lover Boy’ now, but Drake actually got sued by an ex-girlfriend for using her voice without permission on his 2011 Take Care lead single “Marvin’s Room.”
17. Kendrick LamarSource:Radio One Digital
Lamar made history in 2018 after becoming the first non-classical or jazz musician to win a Pulitzer Prize in Music for his 2017 album, DAMN.
18. Megan Thee StallionSource:Radio One Digital
Megan inherited the game from her late mom, who was also a rapper performing under the name Holly-Wood from 2001 to 2007.
19. Hip-Hop History Month: Lil BabySource:Radio One Digital
Lil Baby helped make 2020 a record-breaking year for DSPs, with 3.9 billion of the overall 872.6 billion streams in America that year coming from his sophomore album, My Turn.
20. J. ColeSource:Radio One Digital
Cole has gone #1 on the Billboard 200 with every studio album he’s dropped since debuting in 2011.
21. Nipsey HussleSource:Radio One Digital
Nipsey Hussle infamously sold his 2013 mixtape Crenshaw for $100, netting $100,000 in profit. Jay-Z brought 100 copies.