YouTube Celebrates 50 Years of Hip Hop with Alesha Dixon, Ms Dynamite, Aitch, Mabel, MNEK & more

Last night, YouTube honoured the 50th anniversary of hip hop with their annual Legacy Party, held at London’s prestigious Royal Opera House.

The event was attended by a who’s who of British music royalty, including Aitch, Mabel, MNEK, Alesha Dixon, Ms Dynamite, Mahalia, Ray BLK, Ivorian Doll, Elz The Witch, Ms Banks, MIST.

Hosted by YouTube’s Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen, Tuma Basa (Director of Black Music & Culture) and Sheniece Charway (Artist Partnerships Manager, Black Music & Culture), the event served to highlight the vital work that YouTube has been doing to support hip hop, rap and other forms of British Black music and culture since its inception.

Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed cocktails provided by CÎROC VODKA & Don Julio 1942 Tequila.

Ms Dynamite gave an exclusive performance alongside DJ Semtex, Donch, Rachael Anson, Sola Sounds and Juls who took to the decks.

Receiving the inaugural Legacy Award was GRM Daily Founder and CEO Koby ‘Posty’ Hagan for his outstanding contributions to British Black music.

The event also marked the launch of #UnionBlack, a celebration of the undeniable impact and influence of Black British music and culture in the UK and beyond. Guests at The Legacy Party were treated to a special exhibition of rare footage, videos and photographs which told the stories of the Black pioneers, communities and moments that have contributed to shaping the fabric of British music and culture.

Established in 2020 and spearheaded by Sheniece Charway in the UK, The Legacy Series is a year-long calendar of events that celebrates Black culture and raises awareness around issues faced by Black artists through music and art.

The series has encompassed: Fashion x Music, a pop-up space at Westfield which sold clothes by UK Black-owned fashion brands, and a fashion show in which Black artists such as Tiana Major9 and Ms Banks were styled by Black designers; regular panels to discuss salient issues impacting Black execs and artists within the music industry, and dinners bringing together execs and artists from underrepresented genres in Black Music.

This year, Legacy and YouTube Music also hosted their first R&B night to show their support for the genre – bringing the likes of JayO, Jvck James & Tiana Major9 with Uche and DJ Ace performing to over 600 fans and industry professionals.

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