Early Hip-Hop Groups That Made an Impact

XXL celebrates 50 years of hip-hop with this feature.

When it comes to hip-hop, there’s something to be said about a genre that has withstood the test of time. The 1970s marked the rise of rap, birthing a cultural movement that embraces a way of living in the truest sense. As music worked itself into an experimental era, nothing reflected the Black experience quite like hip-hop—the good, the bad and the ugly.

By most accounts, DJ Kool Herc’s storied back-to-school party in the Bronx is what allowed hip-hop to take form. The genre went on to become increasingly popular, gaining traction among the urban youth that gathered at local block parties in New

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