2023 Excellence in Audio Digital Storytelling, Limited Series finalist

Into America: Street Disciples series on Politics, Power, & the Rise of Hip-Hop

About the Project

Into America explores the range and power of what it means to be Black in America. These are stories of triumph and adversity, pain and beauty, and the ongoing fight for freedom. Hosted by Trymaine Lee and brought to you by MSNBC, Into America is a weekly show about Black politics, history, and culture. We dive into the headlines with big names and go beyond them with the stories of everyday people.

For the Online Journalism Awards and the award for Excellence in Audio Digital Storytelling – Limited Series, we are excited to share ‘Street Disciples, a Black History Month series on America’s political & economic forces that shaped half a century of hip-hop; and how over time, hip-hop began to shape America.

On August 11, 1973, DJ Kool Herc hosted a back-to-school jam at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx. That night, he would become the “Father of Hip-Hop.” And 50 years later, the artform Herc created lives on as one of the most vibrant artform we’ve seen in generations.

And not just vibrant — hip-hop was (and still is) political. The artform grew from the discontent of Black & brown youth in 20th century New York. Faced with harsh political and economic realities, and a world that rejected them, artists began making space for themselves as a form of resistance.

2023 is the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. And the evolution of the genre can show where we’ve been as Black folks, and as Americans. So for Black History Month, Into America traveled back through the last 5 decades, diving into key moments from each era, and walking with hip-hop as it emerged, matured, and took over the American landscape.