Five-Week Festival Celebrates 40 Years Of Hip-Hop

Chris Lockie
By Chris Lockie Last edited 37 months ago
Five-Week Festival Celebrates 40 Years Of Hip-Hop

Image courtesy of fred zilla via Flickr

Hip-hop is a huge and influential genre of music, to the extent that the organisers of an imminent month-long event in London have no hesitation in calling it 'the greatest cultural influence of the 20th and 21st centuries' in just the first of an impressive selection of hyperbolic statements on their website. The Bigger Than festival of hip-hop culture runs from 24 October to 29 November and will be jammed with live shows, panel discussions, exhibitions and workshops in various venues across the city.

The festival kicks off with 'the world's greatest DJ' Jazzy Jeff, so much more than just the man Uncle Phil used to throw out of his West Philadelphia mansion, performing at the Bigger Than launch party at Plan B in Brixton on 24 October. Jeff is king of mixing other people's work, his last original EP coming back in 2007, but since that was called 'The Return of Hip-Hop' it seems only right to include the lead track from that here.

Over the course of the next five weeks, live events include famous New York duo Dead Prez at the Jazz Cafe in Camden on 29 October, DJ Yoda backed by live band Breakfast of Champions at the same venue on 8 November, and underground hip-hop heroes the Doppelgangaz at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen on 16 November.

We're aware how much Londonist readers love a good quiz, so of just as much interest as the live shows might be the Hip Hop Pub Quiz taking place at The Book Club on Leonard Street on 18 November. It's a quid in advance, double that on the night, and the website helpfully outlines what you can expect: 'As the title suggests it’s a Pub Quiz just about Hip-Hop.'

The festival will be rounded off by a free event at the Big Chill House in Islington on 29 November, entitled The History of Hip Hop and featuring carefully selected DJs playing tracks intended to take the audience through the last few decades of the genre. Running through 40 years of hip-hop from boom bap to trap, the event includes Ralphonze, Motive and CJ Beatz among others. Though it's free you'll need to be 'on the list' to get into this one, which you can join by visiting Ticketweb.

The event is called 'Bigger Than' principally in reference to one of the genres biggest tracks of recent times, the simply-titled 'Hip Hop' by the aforementioned Dead Prez, which you can revisit below.

The Bigger Than festival takes place at various London venues from 24 October to 29 November, and you can find tickets for each individual event at the Ticketweb site.

Last Updated 21 October 2014