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50 years of Kansas City hip-hop

When hip-hop hit Kansas City streets, the effect was immediate. The new sound took over record stores, local high schools and underground dance parties. 2023 marks 50 years since the art form got started, and Kansas City is honoring its own contributions to the culture.

Hip-hop in Kansas City came up in the predominantly Black neighborhoods east of Troost in the late 1980s. Early events and venues featuring the genre could be found at Swope Park, Lincoln High School and around Prospect Avenue.

KCUR's Lawrence Brooks IV took a deep dive on how hip-hop gave the city some of its most legendary musicians.

For a fuller history of hip-hop in Kansas City, check out the latest episode of "A Peoples' History of Kansas City" at KCUR.org.

Contact the show at news@kcur.org. Follow KCUR on Instagram and Facebook for the latest news.

Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Anna Schmidt and KCUR Studios, and edited by Gabe Rosenberg and Lisa Rodriguez.

You can support Kansas City Today by becoming a KCUR member: kcur.org/donate.

As KCUR’s Missouri politics and government reporter, it’s my job to show how government touches every aspect of our lives. I break down political jargon so people can easily understand policies and how it affects them. My work is people-forward and centered on civic engagement and democracy. I hold political leaders and public officials accountable for the decisions they make and their impact on our communities. Follow me on Twitter @celisa_mia or email me at celisa@kcur.org.
Anna Schmidt is the fall 2023 intern for KCUR Studios. She recently graduated from Kansas State University, where she was the Opinions Desk Editor for the Collegian student newspaper and took over the role of podcast host. You can email her at anna.schmidt@kcur.org.
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