The celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop continues with Universal Music.
Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) has collaborated with The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) of New York City to launch “Hip Hop At 50 – Honoring 50 Years of Hip Hop: A Legacy of Rhythm, Revolution, and Soul.” There are 80,000 Metro Cards made available for customers of the transit system and fans alike, to purchase collectible limited editions of who they consider four generational East Coast hip-hop icons. Harlem’s Dipset member, Cam’Ron, Queens, NY’s LL COOL J, Wyandanch, New York (Long Island) representative, Rakim, and Brooklyn’s Pop Smoke.
In a written statement, Rakim said, “From standing on top of the Empire State Building to grabbing a slice at the corner pizza shop, NYC creates iconic moments that are recognized around the world. But it doesn’t get closer to real city life than swiping a metro card and standing clear of the closing doors. It’s an honor to be celebrating the 50th Anniversary on the streets… and now below them… of the city where hip-hop was born.”
The metro cards celebrate what UMe states are 4 watershed moments in New York hip hop. They represent the ever-changing bedrock of the culture. The LL COOL J cards have been released just in time for the second annual Rock The Bells festival that took place in Forest Hills, Queens this past weekend.
“When I first started in Hip-Hop, we were using tokens and then in the 90’s the MetroCard came out. And through the pandemic, I remember riding the subway anonymously by myself. Now in 2023, I have my own limited-edition MetroCard in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop. This is a beautiful full-circle moment. Hip-Hop is amazing!” LL COOL J commented.
The cards are being distributed all over New York City. The LL COOL J cards can be purchased in Forest Hills at the 71st Ave metro stop. The Shoot For The Stars Foundation is helping with the distribution of the Pop Smoke cards that appear at the Canarsie-Rockaway Pkwy stop, in addition to the New Lots Ave stop.
Upcoming metro cards featuring Cam’Ron and Rakim will be revealed soon. Keep looking in various subway stations if you are in the New York City area.