Warner Music Group Honors 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop with Yearlong Celebration

Partnerships announced with Dolby, LGND Music, New York Red Bulls, Peloton and Vinyl Me, Please, with more to be introduced in coming weeks.

License Global

February 16, 2023

3 Min Read
Warner Music Group logo.
Warner Music Group logo. WMG

Aug. 11 will mark hip-hop’s 50th anniversary. Leading up to the anniversary, License Global has already announced numerous celebrations and licensing deals. Last year, Licensing Expo’s Opening Night Party celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop with special guest stars from hip-hop royalty performing their classic hits. 

As part of the worldwide celebration for this cultural milestone, Legends Recordings announced the launch of The Official 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop licensing program in May. In November, New York City announced a yearlong celebration for the cultural milestone.

In December, Legends Recordings and their licensing agency, The Brand Liaison announced the first wave of anniversary apparel and accessories licensing deals. Earlier this month, the Grammy Awards kicked off the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop celebrations with a performance featuring over 30 iconic artists including LL Cool J, Ice-T, Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel & Scorpio (who performed at last year’s Licensing Expo); Run-DMC, Salt-N-Pepa, Chuck D & Flavor Flav, De La Soul, Queen Latifah, Method Man, Busta Rhymes, Nelly, Swizz Beatz and more.

Now, Warner Music Group is also honoring the anniversary. The company has announced the launch of Hip-Hop Fifty, a yearlong, global campaign that will bring together the worlds of art, fashion, sports and more to honor every facet of the groundbreaking musical genre. 

Related:Grammy Awards Kick Off 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop

The festivities kicked off at the Official 2023 Grammy House in Los Angeles during Grammy week. Presented by The Recording Academy and CBS and produced by ANTHEMIC Agency, which collaborated with Warner Music’s Global Catalog Division on the build-out, Grammy House was an immersive event space designed to spotlight five decades of hip-hop music and culture. Legendary hip-hop records from Warner Music’s catalog were featured prominently throughout the exhibition.  

Warner Music will be joining forces with several partners for initiatives around the Hip-Hop Fifty celebration, including Dolby, LGND Music, New York Red Bulls, Peloton and Vinyl Me, Please. Additional partnerships will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Warner Music will celebrate the anniversary through Dolby Atmos re-releases featuring artists from its hip-hop catalog. Fans will be able to enjoy these albums like never before with enhanced clarity and depth through their favorite Dolby Atmos-enabled streaming service. Warner Music and Dolby will also host listening events throughout the year to showcase the new immersive Dolby Atmos mixes in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and London. Each listening party will include Q&As with people involved in the featured album. More details about all upcoming Dolby Atmos releases and listening parties will be announced soon. 

The celebration’s official Web3 partner, LGND Music, is set to create Hip-Hop Fifty digital collectibles known as “Virtual Vinyl” for some of Warner Music’s pioneering hip-hop artists. Available through tiered passes or as standalone collectibles, the music and collectibles platform will provide fans an opportunity to enjoy FLAC quality audio both in-app and on their desktop platform, while also granting access to exclusive Hip-Hop Fifty content, merchandise, physical vinyl, NFTs and upcoming events. The full LGND x Hip-Hop Fifty drop schedule is coming soon. 

The New York Red Bulls, one of the 10 charter clubs of Major League Soccer, have partnered with Warner Music to honor a NY Metro area anniversary with Hip-Hop Fifty. The first of many collaborations throughout the year was the 2023 season jersey launch last week at the Hard Rock Hotel New York. There, the NY soccer club unveiled the adidas jersey kit that was designed in collaboration with luxury streetwear designer, Daniel Patrick. 

Peloton will celebrate the anniversary throughout the year, starting on Feb. 23 with a second iteration of its Bad Boy Artist Series ride, first introduced in 2021.

Vinyl Me, Please will produce limited-edition, vinyl versions of select hip-hop albums from the Warner Music catalog, starting in March with Earl Sweatshirt’s 2022 album, “Sick!” The full schedule of vinyl releases will be unveiled soon. 

News and updates about Hip-Hop Fifty will be announced throughout the year. The campaign will be spearheaded by Warner Music’s Global Catalog Division, with collaboration across many other WMG entities including frontline labels, Warner Chappell Music (WCM), WMX and ADA.  

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Warner Music Group

About the Author(s)

License Global

License Global is the leading news source for the brand licensing industry, delivering award-winning editorial content including news, trends, analysis, and special reports about the global consumer product and retail marketplace.

Through its print edition, website, daily e-newsletter and event publications, License Global reaches more than 150,000 executives and professionals in all major markets. The magazine also serves as the official publication for the sector’s trade events, which include Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo Shanghai and the Licensing Leadership Summit.

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