The GetUp Crew

The GetUp Crew

The GetUp Crew

Happy Birthday Hip Hop! Born in the Bronx on August 11th in 1973, hip hop made it’s way into the world with a new and exciting beat. And as Tupac famously said in Changes, “things will never be the same.” Hip hop was and is, not only a genre of music. It’s a movement, a celebration, a voice, a culture. According to the 50th anniversary of hip hop website: “Celebrations will be held all around the world to uplift and honor every aspect of Hip Hop culture. From concerts and tours to battles, competitions and exhibitions, all of your favorite DJs, MCs, Breakdancers, Beatboxers, Graffiti artists and more will show up and show out to make this golden anniversary of Hip Hop culture the most extraordinary year yet.”

Hip Hop History

History has it, that hip hop was born on August 11, 1973 at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the west Bronx. It was at a Back To School Jam in the rec room of an apartment building at that address. The host of the party? Clive Campbell, better known as DJ Kool Herc, the founding father of hip hop. Herc’s sister Cindy had a job at the time that didn’t pay enough for her to get the clothes she wanted for school. So to make money, they charged $0.25 for girls and $0.50 for boys. Refreshments were $0.50 for a soda, $0.75 for a hot dog, and $1.00 for Olde English or Colt 45 malt liquor. What a time! Here’s the complete story of that original party.

The roots, and subsequent history of hip hop, run deeper than can be completely told here. Some great resources for a deeper dive include:

The 50th Anniversary of hip hop: The influence

The global influence of hip hop can not be overstated. Hip hop culture has not only shaped music styles. It’s affected language, dance, technology, art, and fashion. Even education, politics, and media have been influenced by hip hop. Here’s a great article on 25 Things Influenced By Hip Hop Culture.

Boston and hip hop

While Boston may not always be mentioned in the forefront of discussions around hip hop history, we can’t be denied. Boston artists past, present, and future have, and will, be a huge part of the fabric of the genre, and this city we call home.

As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop, we wanted to hear from some of the Boston artists who have, and continue to, ensure that Boston is on the map of the hip hop landscape. We asked them one simple question, “What does hip hop mean to you?” Their answers, as expected, were inspiring, thoughtful, soul-stirring, and relatable. For them, and many of us, hip hop has been a lifesaver, a comfort, an expression, a release.

Happy Birthday Hip Hop! You are deeply loved.

  • Red Shaydez

    Picture of hip hop artist Red Shaydz, wearing a straw hat, multicolored shirt, and a pair of red sunglasses.

    “Hip-Hop is something that I hold dear to my soul. It is more than a genre. It is culture. It is my first love. I’m so honored to be a part of its rich history.

    Happy 50th Anniversary to Hip-Hop ❤️”

    Red Shaydez, (a stage name she developed from a pair of red sunglasses her aunt bought for her as a child), is a female rapper and a woman of countless talents. “Red” represents her aura and the passion she has for all of her pursuits. “Shaydez” intertwines her nickname and symbolizes her vision of the world as well as her point of view behind her sunglasses. The Boston-native powerhouse (with roots in Macon, GA and Jamaica), is a Boston Music Award winning hip-hop artist, professional video producer, public speaker, educator, and youth mentor. Red’s undeniable talent and electric personality have been widely praised by both local and national media such as MTVBET JAMSBoston 25 News , The Boston GlobeNPR MUSIC, and more! Her music video/mini-film for ‘Little Sabrina’ was selected for the 2020 Roxbury International Film Festival as well.

    Do yourself a favor and follow, like, subscribe, and do all the things to get to know Red Shaydez.


  • Professor Lyrical

    Three picture collage of Boston hip hop artist Lyrical. Left picture close up wearing a backward baseball hat, top right sitting on a couch with chin resting on hand, and bottom right backward baseball hat in "thinking" pose

    “As a poet, emcee, educator, and lifelong participant in the culture, I see hip-hop as a realm of freedom, opportunity, and boundless creativity. It’s a therapeutic release, a platform for reflection, and the perfect vessel for self-expression.”

    Professor Lyrical is an artist and educator known for using the positive aspects of Hip Hop culture to empower citizens to self-advocate for socioeconomic change. Equally compelling is his “side-hustle” as an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of the District of Columbia, a public land-grant HBCU in Washington DC, where he also directs faculty development for its associate programs within its embedded community college.  

    You can check out his single “Back in the Dayz” which reached #1 on multiple college charts HERE. 

    Learn more about this incredible contributor to hip hop:


  • Akrobatik

    Boston hip hop artist Akrobatik facing sideways wearing a white t-shirt and camouflage pants.

    “Hip-Hop has guided me through life, saved my life, and breathed new life into me. From traveling to places I never imagined I’d ever go, to helping me find the inner strength to persevere through even the toughest times, Hip-Hop music, culture, and it’s amazing community (especially Boston’s) have left a mark on me that will have me in “Give Back” mode for the rest of my days.”

    Akrobatik has a long and well-established hip hop career, in Boston and around the world. He has collaborated numerous times with many fellow Boston rappers such as Edo G, Guru, Slaine, and Termanology. He is also a part of the hip hop collective named The Perceptionists with Mr. Lif and DJ Fakts One. Akrobatik has also served as a visiting lecturer for the University of Massachusetts Boston Honors College. He co-taught a course titled, “Hip Hop: History and Practice” with Department Chair and Professor of American Studies Rachel Rubin.

    Akrobatik wearing a black shirt, grey pants, sitting on a boat.Akrobatik performing holding a microphone in a white sleeveless Adidas shirt

    Thank you Akrobatik, for all you’ve given to hip hop, and all you’ve given to Boston.


    Akrobatik wearing a camouflage jacket and sunglasses under a cloudy sky

  • Oompa

    Hip hop artist Oompa leaning sideways on a chair wearing a black shirt and a watch

    “Hip-Hop is an air. A way to breathe. A way to walk— a set of first steps. A language. A politic. Brass knuckles when it’s necessary. A way to love, always. No exaggeration, I  don’t know who I would be in this life if it weren’t for Hip-Hop.”

    Two pictures of Oompa: one biting a chain with a pendant that says Oompa on it, and another in a bright highlighter color jacket, black pants, and boots in a squat position

    OOMPA is a nationally-acclaimed artist & artrepreneur from Boston, MA (Roxbury, specifically). She was named one of Boston Magazine’s 150 Most Influential Bostonians. NPR’s 2020 Slingshot Artists to Watch and her engaging, interactive performing style won her the Boston Music Award for Live Act of the Year in 2019, following her 2018 Unsigned Artist of the Year victory among an unprecedented 12 total nominations.

    Two black and white photos of Oompa: one on the left standing on a rocky ledge with a dog on a leash, the other on a rocky ledge in all black looking up and smiling


  • Dutch ReBelle

    Boston hip hop artist Dutch ReBelle wearing a turquoise, coral, and orange color top, looking off to the side

    “Hip-Hop is the language of the hustler, the street historian and the disruptive creative. If I didn’t have Hiphop i wouldn’t have had the balls i needed to try the things I’ve put myself out there to try.

    If telling stories is how we kept our history and church is where we find our songs of peace – i feel hip hop is in the middle of that.”
    Hip hop artist Dutch Rebelle, poses in a red washed photoHip hop artist Dutch ReBelle in a blue washed photo, black leather corset and skirt, hand reaching forward

    “Dutch ReBelle is a woman with a business and a song.

    The Boston-based hip-hop artist could add all sorts of other nouns to her title. Words like poet, composer, lyricist, record company owner, music and video producer, singer, dancer, influencer, philanthropist.

    When asked what she does, actually, call herself, she says, “I’m not into labels. Labels are labels until someone makes a new label. I’m not going where I’ve been. I’m evolving every day.”

    ReBelle, whose parents hail from Haiti, with one grandfather from the Dominican Republic, grew up in the Boston area, in a household filled with all sorts of music, family and friends.” From Exhale Lifestyle

  • Mike Bivins


    Mike Bivins wearing a white Red Sox hoodie and a red Sox hat

    “Hip Hop to me is life. It allows you to have your own expression. There is no one hip hop style, there has been mountains made since 1973 ! Be your own Rushmore.”

    Mike Bivins. You know the story. New Edition. BBD. Businessman. Philanthropist. You’ll get to hear even more of his story when the new documentary comes out on August 24th on allblk.

  • Millyz

    Picture of hip hop artist Millyz wearing a black and white zip up hoodie, white t-shirt, purple shorts, black sunglasses, white socks and sneakers, and tattoos from head to toe including Lucky the Celtics mascot
    “Hiphop means everything to me, the way you walk, talk, eat sleep an breath. Hiphop is cutting edge creativity coming from inner city America, the pulse of all the newest trends an what’s hot in the streets”

    “One of the most ferocious lyricists in the game right now is Millyz. The Massachussets-based MC has earned incredible praise through his penmanship alone. His freestyles have gone viral while artists, from Jadakiss to Kodak Black, have co-signed his releases. All of the momentum Millyz built positioned him to make a major splash in the rap game and he certainly isn’t taking any of it for granted.” From Hot New Hip Hop
    Latest releases from Millyz:
  • Termanology

    Hip Hop artist Termanology wearing a white baseball hat and a colorful Coogi sweater

    “Hip Hop is made up of 4 elements, DJing, MCing, Breaking and Graffitti. I fell in Love with Hip-Hop as a kid and since then I have dedicated my entire life to it. I made it my personal mission to preserve the culture in the best way that I can. I am so happy and proud to see where we are as a culture on the 50th anniversary”

    Two pictures. On the left is rapper Termanology holding a stand up mic leaning back on a car wearing all black. Picture on the right is him standing wearing a black and white shirt, black pants, black and green hat and sneakers

    Termanology, is an Latin-American rapper and record producer. He first gained major attention with his 2006 single, “Watch how it go down” produced by the legendary DJ Premier.

    Over the span of his career, Term has released 48 full lenght projects, including multiple albums and mixtape’s. Also known for his energetic live show, Term has traveled the world performing live on stages in over 40 plus countries and is also a radio personality at Eminem’s Shade 45 on Sirius Xm radio. Term is also signed to Monster Energy as one of their exclusive “Monster Music” artist and does festivals for them annually.

    His musical Production credits include doing beats for Wu-Tang Clan, Erykah Badu, The Lox, Bun B, Paul Wall, Benny The Butcher, the late Fred The Godson and more.

    Term is also well known for his Good Dad Gang movement and charity work in his community. His passion for spreading the message that father’s should be a proud part of their children’s lives has been growing rapidly and gaining national attention.

    Known for keeping a full schedule year round, Term has no plans of slowing down and is ready for multiple album drops, videos, merch drops, tours and more in 2023.


  • kei

    Boston rapper kei standing on stage performing to a large crowd with lights shining down on her

    “Hip-hop to me is everything. It’s one of the purest forms of expression – of culture, of self and creativity. I’m honored to be celebrating 50 years of hip-hop this weekend performing at GLD Festival and sharing the stage with large artists like EARTHGANG and Dead Prez! Hip-hop and music have really changed my life and have always been an integral part of who I am. I’m so blessed to be a part of creating these experiences and growing the scene for Boston!”

    Boston rapper kei

    This is the festival that kei will be performing at this weekend. It’s the the first-annual GLD FSTVL.

    A fiery recording artist taking the New England hip-hop scene by storm. Growing up in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, MA, kei recalls always being surrounded by creative energy.

    Whether it was exploring activities like dancing and painting, or her friends experimenting with making music, creative pursuits have always been an integral part of kei’s life.

    kei is definitely someone to look out for as she was named the 2022 Boston Music Awards New Artist of the Year!


  • Smoke Bulga

    Boston rapper Smoke Bulga wearing red next to a red car with the Zakim Bridge in the background

    “Hip hop to me is a blessing. It’s culture, it’s love, it’s learning, and experience. It’s my life, and I wanna shout hip hop on it’s 50th anniversary Bulgaaa, yeah!”



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