In early August 1973, specifically on August 11, DJ Kool Herc played disco, funk, and other popular tracks at his sister’s party. He noticed people dancing their hearts out during certain parts of songs and responding to specific beats. So, he decided to experiment and alter his style of DJing. Herc extended the instrumental parts and accentuated rhythms, often playing two tracks simultaneously. He’d then grab the microphone and boost the atmosphere with his words. Many consider this the moment hip hop was born – a seminal event in music history. Hip-hop culture has only grown stronger since, migrating from streets to clubs and from clubs to concert halls.
Fast forward fifty years, and we are about to host the grandest hip-hop birthday party featuring legends of the genre and emerging talents from around the globe and the region. For such a party, we needed true legends, the greatest hip-hop group of all time – Wu-Tang Clan. With a career spanning over thirty years and numerous hits, Wu-Tang Clan embodies the essence of hip hop – voice, message, resistance, rhythm, and party.
Their iconic tracks like “Protect Ya Neck,“ “C.R.E.A.M.,“ and “Gravel Pit” encapsulate this spirit. Their 2007 performance at Exit is still fondly remembered. Those of us who witnessed it are eager for the sequel, while a new generation awaits their first taste of history in the making.
Accompanying the indomitable Wu-Tang Clan, the grand celebration of 50 years of hip-hop will be amplified by New York hardcore hip-hop veterans, Onyx. They join the authentic #Blackout30 showcase. Their 1993 platinum hit single “Slam,“ described by The Source magazine as the track that introduced slam dancing into hip hop, is set to resonate within the fortress walls, bringing the unique spirit of Long Island and Queens. The song ”The Worst,” which Onyx recorded with Wu-Tang Clan, stands as an all-time classic, representing a historic meeting of two sides of the same city.
Alongside the international icons, almost every significant figure in the regional (t)rap and hip-hop scene will light up the Gorki List Main Stage, Visa Fusion Stage, and the Gang Beats Stage at this year’s Exit.
Today’s scene is incredibly diverse, with artists emerging from various groups and cities. All will unite “under one roof” at this year’s Exit. The lineup ranges from old-school giants like Prti Bee Gee, Ajs Nigrutin, Sunshine, and Bolesna Braća, to new stars such as Crni Cerak, Bigru, Paja Kratak, and Hiljson Mandela. The powerful female voices catalyzing change in the Balkans, like Senidah, Mimi Mercedes, Sajsi MC, Tam, and Micka Lifa, are also not to be missed.
Of course, no party could be complete without the princes of the trap sound. Fox & Surreal are set to conquer Exit’s stages alongside 30Zona, Kene Beri, Spejs Noksi, Bore Balboa, Dino Blunt, and numerous others.
In Serbia, there’s a tradition of toasting, “May you live at least as long as you have so far” when someone reaches a ripe age. Well, we hope hip-hop lives at least five times as long as it has. Considering what the future holds for this exceptional blend of party, street, and attitude, the sky is the limit.
Written by: Miloš Dašić