Founded in 1996, Mass Appeal is an entertainment company dedicated to documenting the emerging movements that influence popular ideas through the perspective of those, who shape and shift culture. Since its founding, Mass Appeal has become the self-professed elevated voice of hip hop and its ever-expanding sphere of influence.
With 2023 marking hip hop’s 50th anniversary, Mass Appeal developed #HipHop50, a massive, cross-platform initiative aimed at celebrating the momentous anniversary in the most authentic and globally impactful way possible: #HipHop50 is a multi-year celebration that includes strategic partnerships, immersive global activations and charitable elements, as well as the creation of once-in-a-lifetime moments featuring the iconic voices that have transcended culture.
Mass Appeal have teamed up with The Orchard to distribute Hip Hop 50: The Soundtrack, a collection of ten EPs of all-new, original music that will unite the industry’s most highly regarded producers and talents to look back, honor and celebrate 50 years of hip hop music and culture — all while looking forward at hip hop’s bright future. The series will feature music curated by DJ Premier, Swizz Beatz, Mustard, The Dream, Mike Will Made- It, No I.D., Hit-Boy, Take A Daytrip and Tainy. A portion of all #HipHop50 proceeds will be donated to various charitable organizations, including the Universal Hip Hop Museum, set to open its doors in 2024.
The first EP of the series, DJ Premier: Hip Hop 50: Volume 1 is a five-song EP entirely produced by the legendary DJ Premier. Featuring collaborations with Lil Wayne, Nas, Remy Ma, Rapsody, Joey Bada$$, Slick Rick, and Run The Jewels, the EP salutes and celebrates the beloved — and wildly influential — Preemo sound, while amping hip hop heads for the next releases in the series. (Personally, the Preemo and Swizz Beatz editions are right in my wheelhouse. I’m curious about the No I.D. edition, too.)
DJ Premier: Hip Hop 50: Volume 1‘s first single “Remy Rap” is a neck-snapping banger centered around a minimalist, tweeter and woofer rattling Preemo production featuring looping bursts of wobbling bass synths, skittering beats, explosive hand-claps and some good ol’ fashioned turntablism serving as a funky and sinuous bed for Remy Ma and Grammy-nominated Rapsody to trade fiery and swaggering bars and verses. While showcasing two criminally underrated — and just fucking dope — emcees, the song is a forceful reminder that hip hop wouldn’t be where it is today without the women who have cultivated, supported and performed alongside the men.
Directed by Maya Table, the accompanying video for “Remy Rap” pays homage to early 90s NYC hip hop and its related imagery: The NYC skyline, inner city building rooftops, grainy black and white footage, Kangol bucket hats, enormous hoop earrings, hockey jersys, thick Cuban link chains and DJ Premier furious scratching — and of course, two amazing emcees vibing off each other.
Fittingly, this one comes out on the 49th anniversary of DJ Kool Herc‘s legendary “Back to School Jam” at 1520 Sedgewick Avenue in the Bronx, the birthplace of hip-hop. So let’s celebrate and honor the pioneers, the dreamers, legends and icons of the music and culture that has become the lingua franca of the past three generations or so of young people. Long live hip hop, y’all! Long live the DJ! Long live the emcee! Long the live the breakers! Long live the graffiti writers!