Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop at This Free Concert in Atlanta

Catch some Atlanta hip-hop icons on stage at the Lakewood Amphitheatre on August 13.

hip hop Atlanta
Earthgang, a hip-hop duo from Atlanta, will be performing at the free concert. | Christian Bertrand/Shutterstock
Earthgang, a hip-hop duo from Atlanta, will be performing at the free concert. | Christian Bertrand/Shutterstock

TLC, Outkast, and Ludacris are just a few of the hip-hop legends hailing from Atlanta a.k.a. “hip-hop’s center of gravity.” So it only makes sense that the city will celebrate the genre’s 50th anniversary in a big way.

Mayor Andre Dickens announced yesterday that he, Grammy-award winning songwriter Jermaine Dupri, and Emmy award-winning radio personality Ryan Cameron will host a plethora of events in August to commemorate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, including a concert where Atlantans can see local hip-hop icons take center stage for free.

The top-selling genre is said to have originated at a party in the Bronx on August 11, 1973. Hip-hop later traveled to Atlanta, where a rich community was cultivated through underground shows and local artists, with “Planet Rock” by Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force, “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang, and “Battmann: Let Mojo Handle It” by Mojo being some of the first songs to pave the way for the hip-hop artists from the region.

“Hip-hop is a freedom of expression,” Dickens said in his announcement. “It gives you the opportunity to share what goes on in your community, what goes on in your heart, what goes on in your dreams, and be able to live it out lyrically.”

The highlight of the celebration will be The ATL Hip Hop 50 Concert: Yesterday, Today, and (404)-Ever, featuring Atlanta’s hip-hop greats T.I., Crime Mob, and EarthGang, as well as other icons and special guests at the Lakewood Amphitheatre from 4 to 8 pm on Sunday, August 13.

The show is completely free, however, you must reserve tickets online in advance. Each person can book a maximum of two general admission tickets, and only clear bags are permitted in the venue. Make sure to arrive early, as there is no doubt Atlantans will be clambering to snag a spot so they can shake it like a Polaroid picture.

Along with the star-studded concert, Atlanta’s month of celebrations includes events like a free skate day at Cascade Skating Rink on Saturday, August 5; a film series with Auburn Avenue Research Library on Thursday, August 10; a block party at The Future Gallery featuring DJs, dancers, and local graffiti artists on Saturday, August 12; and more, all in the name of hip-hop. For the full rundown of events, check out the city’s hip-hop anniversary hub.

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Kelsey Allen is an Associate Editor on the local team at Thrillist.