Rock n Roll Hall of Famer and inventor of the breakbeat DJ Kool Herc threw a party for his sister in the South Bronx on Aug. 11, 1973, and hip-hop was born. 

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, a concert is being held Sat. Aug. 12 at the GEM Theater.  Put on by 18th and Vine Lives, one of the event organizers Shawn Edwards says they want to acknowledge the history anniversary with a local focus. 

Edwards says that hip-hop is more than the music, and has influenced the way people talk and the clothes people wear. He says that the cultural impact both internationally and locally deserves to be celebrated. 

“We’re gonna have rappers, DJs, break dancers, and even a couple of graffiti artists on hand,” says Edwards. “We want to give people a demonstration of what hip-hop culture has been for the past 50 years.”

San Francisco-based DJ and producer DJ Fresh will bring a west coast slant to the concert.  DJ.Fresh, who was voted one of the top three DJs in the US by International Turntablist Federation, incorporates a variety of styles in his production, including hip hop, EDM, house, jazz, and R&B.  

DJ Fresh (pictured) will perform at Hip Hop 50 KC concert Aug 12 at the GEM Theater

The Hip Hop 50 KC concert will also feature some of the biggest local names like The Popper who made his mark 10-15 years ago to newer acts like Roblo da Star and Xta-C. Also performing is ThatsDonJuan who helped craft Tech N9ne’s early music as well as independent artist J. McGee. 

“This is our Rock & Roll Hall of Fame moment,” says Edwards. “50 years was a long time and a lot of these artists have definitely contributed to the cultural fabric of Kansas City.”  

A portion of proceeds from the concert will be donated to the American Jazz Museum and the Mutual Musicians Foundation for the purposes of developing future curation of exhibits and programs that focus on the relationship between hip-hop and jazz.

Tickets are on sale now for the concert and there’s also a brunch at Society with two presentations leading up to the concert. For more information visit To purchase tickets visit:

Hip Hop 50 KC Concert

Sat., August 12th 

The Gem Theater

Kansas City, Missouri 

6 p.m. VIP Reception

7 p.m. Concert 

9 p.m. After Party