"Born in the Bronx" Credit: Lila Wolfe photo

The Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture, in partnership with the Bronx Council on the Arts, recently opened the exhibit “Born In The Bronx!” which highlights the roots and evolution of hip hop, the global phenomenon that originated in the South Bronx in the 1970s. Curated by Johan Kugelberg and Joe Conzo Jr., the exhibit’s expansive collection of photos and memorabilia, from vinyl records, flyers and artwork, to images of graffiti, break dancing and MCing, seeks to showcase the diverse and innovative elements of hip hop that shaped the Bronx and the entire world.

Kugelberg and Conzo have staged versions of this exhibit internationally in London, Tokyo, Sweden and France since 2005. Two years later, Kugelberg and Conzo founded the Cornell University Hip Hop Collection, the largest archive in the world devoted to tracing the history of hip hop. In 2008, they worked with Cornell on staging the world’s first large-scale “Hip Hop History Symposium.” Winner of the New York Public Library Best Books for Teens Award, their 2007 book “Born in the Bronx:A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop,” was reissued this year in an expanded edition with an introduction from LL Cool J. The book will be available at the gallery in a special signed edition.

“Born In The Bronx” opened on November 15 and featured such luminaries as legendary Bronx DJ Grand Wizzard Theodore, widely credited as the inventor of “scratching” and known for perfecting needle drops and other techniques. 

The Longwood Arts Gallery @ Hostos is located at Hostos Community College/CUNY, 450 Grand Concourse (off 149th Street) in the Bronx. For more info, visit www.bronxarts.org/programs/connector/longwood-art-project/longwood-art-gallery

and www.hostoscenter.org.

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