'Hip-Hop's Greatest Day' Exhibit To Be On Display at City Hall In New York

‘Hip-Hop’s Greatest Day’ Exhibit To Be On Display at City Hall In New York

In 1998, XXL Magazine did a photo shoot in remembrance of jazz musicians who got together on a stoop at a brownstone in Harlem 30 years earlier in 1958. But, they were replaced with hip-hop artists. Now, there will be a photo exhibit of pictures taken from that 1998 shoot on display in New York at City Hall in lower Manhattan.

According to Spectrum News NY 1, the main photograph from the iconic hip-hop shoot was taken by famed photographer, Gordon Parks. During the shoot, there were many photos taken around the main picture, which featured 177 hip-hop artists who came to Harlem just for the shot. The original photograph taken in 1958 featured jazz musicians like Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and 53 others and was titled, “A Great Day in Harlem” and was shot by Art Kane for Esquire magazine.

Parks was commissioned to shoot this for XXL Magazine for their interpretation of the cover but using hip-hop luminaries like Fat Joe, Slick Rick, Da Brat, Common, Busta Rhymes, Slick Rick, Grandmaster Flash, Kool Herc, Common, Questlove, along with 167 other figures in hip-hop. It was labeled, “Hip Hop’s Greatest Day,”

Jonathan Rheingold, a former executive publisher and a co-founder of XXL was a part of the staff that rounded the artists up for the historic shoot. He is also the curator of the exhibit.

“At the time as we know it, the largest gathering of musicians for one photo,” he stated.

While he was at the shoot in a different capacity, Rheingold brought a camera and took several flicks to capture the historic moment.

“Several years ago I reached out to other individuals I knew who had taken photos and aggregated a behind-the-scenes archive, if you will, of the making of that day and of that photo,” Rheingold said.

Since the photos he gathered and compiled didn’t have a home, Rheingold stated that he’s “thrilled” that the rest of the city now has a chance to see the pics on display at City Hall.

“We are so thrilled to have the mayor’s office and Department of Cultural Affairs really give us a venue to share this with the rest of the city,” Rheingold said.

“Hip-hop is part of the fabric of New York history, so of course it belongs in City Hall.”

The photos will be on display at City Hall through June 2024.

‘Hip-Hop’s Greatest Day’ Exhibit To Be On Display at City Hall In New York

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