Yonkers Public Library Marks 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop With Panel Discussion and Unique Library Card

In a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, Yonkers Public Library (YPL) is set to unveil a limited edition library card that pays tribute to the vibrant and influential culture of this genre.

Yonkers native and street artist Daniel Hopkins, also known as Maxx Moses, designed the new artwork. The new card will be available at all library locations starting Thursday, October 26.

The library’s Director, Jesse Montero, expressed his excitement for this unique celebration of hip-hop’s legacy.

YPL recognizes hip-hop to be a vital art form and an essential part of Yonkers culture and history. We’re excited to celebrate its 50th anniversary with a fresh new library card designed by one of Yonkers’ own and that reflects its energy and creativity.

The new card

Hip-Hop library card
Hip-Hop library card – credit: Yonkers Public Library

The special edition card, titled “The Sound of Light,” features artwork marrying futuristic aesthetics with soulful hip-hop roots. The background patterns and clothing imagery derive from the vibrant world of graffiti, adding a dynamic and authentic touch.

Residents of Yonkers can obtain this limited edition library card by applying on YPL’s official website, while supplies last. Additionally, current cardholders can trade their existing card for this new edition by visiting any of YPL’s three locations.

Daniel Hopkins, the artist behind the striking card design, commented on his inspiration.

As an artist, I’m always desiring to create imagery that shows Black Culture thriving in the future while staying connected to art, science, and nature, with style. This design for the library celebrates the next 50 years of hip-hop, with an energy that’s rooted in a culture Boombastic by nature and guided by the divine mind.

Panel discussion

The festivities don’t end with the card release. YPL has organized a panel discussion featuring hip-hop luminaries who have made significant contributions to the genre. The panel will include:

  • Ruff Ryder Founder Joaquin “Waah” Dean
  • Yonkers hip-hop artist Large Amount
  • Jerome “RawRome” Enders, author of “Yonkers: The Lost City of Hip Hop.”

The panel discussion, moderated by Enders, delves into the role Yonkers played in shaping the culture and music of hip-hop. Excerpts from Enders’ book will also be shared during the event. Copies will be available for checkout at the library, as well as for purchase at the event.

Jerome Enders emphasized Yonkers’ pivotal role in hip hop’s early days. He commented, “The role of Yonkers hip-hop is intrinsically tied to its roots, as the early pioneers of Yonkers ventured back and forth to the Bronx, disseminating the culture within our city. Furthermore, our venues became a hub not only for local talent but also for practitioners from various places, who came to Yonkers to showcase their art.

The celebration of hip-hop and Yonkers’ rich cultural history is a testament to the library’s commitment to fostering innovation, unity, and a brighter future for the city.

Special guests include

  • Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano
  • Dr. Robert Baskerville
  • Joaquin “Waah” Dean
  • DJ Beat Master Gene
  • Maxx Moses
  • Large Amount

Don’t miss the unveiling of the limited edition library card and the insightful panel discussion at the Riverfront Library on Thursday, October 26, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

The Lost City of Hip Hop flyer

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