Before we get into this week’s post, I want to thank all of my new subscribers who came in from Welcome to the Violet Brown Told Me Blog! And to all of my previous subscribers, thank you for always being here!

Hip Hop will celebrate its 50th birthday on April 11, 2023. Throughout 2023 there are many events planned to celebrate the first 50 years. I started preparing for the festivities a little early. In 2022 I created a series of features titled “Hip Hop Hooray.” The series features facts and personal stories of working in the entertainment industry during the rise and evolution of hip hop. Below I am including links to my “Hip Hop Hooray” series. I am so fortunate to be alive and to continue to work in entertainment and music. It is a true honor to have been present and a part of the most formative years of this global phenomenon we call HIP HOP.

Hip Hop has been as important to the history of music as the birth of Rock & Roll.

Both genres of music originated in America, and both continue to evolve into new styles and sub-genres of the original music. The rapid popularity of rock and rap came from young rebellious fans. Both genres were seen as a threat to the establishment and especially to parents. Parents feared this music because it literally took over the hearts and minds of their children. Some parents and older folks called it “disturbing…just noise…devil music…shocking…or a fad that would not last.”

Rock and rap music has withstood the test of time and continues to evolve and gain popularity each year. And despite what was once said…IT IS HERE TO STAY!

Rock and rap music is usually loud, bold, and provocative. It can also be socially conscious, political, and a way to promote the awareness of racial, cultural, and economic issues. The music has greatly influenced the culture of every country and their people.

Today we have rock and hip hop artists creating music together. They often share the same stage at massive music festivals. Most importantly they are sharing the same fans and audiences. The music has been a source of unity by bringing their fans together. Currently hip-hop artists are even collaborating and touring with country artists. Times have changed and…I LOVE IT!

We feel and see the impact of hip hop everywhere

The influence of hip hop has changed the course of music by bringing new styles in music, poetry, art, dance, technology, film, fashion, media, entertainment, and more.

Last year Hip Hop made its way to the Super Bowl with one of the most anticipated and SPECTACULAR half-time shows. On Sunday, February 5, 2023, Hip Hop stunned the world again at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards with a tremendous tribute to the first 50 years of the genre.

I have personal connections to the majority of performers who participated in the Grammy’s joyous celebration of hip hop. In my series “Hip Hop Hooray” I share personal stories with many of these performers, pioneers, visionaries, legends, and “ICONS” of hip hop. If you are a fan of the music I hope you will use the links below to read the first 3 parts of my ongoing series on the history of hip hop. I hope you will enjoy reading and viewing personal stories and photos that I have taken over the “golden and platinum” era of hip hop. Since I am still active in the industry I will continue to include stories and photos with new artists too.

Since this post is really about the joy I felt watching the some of my friends and favorite artists on stage at the Grammys, I want to tell you about a historical hip hop release that includes most of the performers with their BIGGEST…most BELOVED songs.

Last year the prestigious Smithsonian Folkways label released an anthology featuring 129 of the most important songs of the first 45 years of the genre.

This 9-disc set tells the story of hip hop through these powerful and enormously popular songs. Smithsonian’s Anthology of Hip Hop and Rap explores the foundation and the evolution of Hip Hop. It also includes a 300-page coffee-table book filled with essays and rare, never-before-seen photos that span the formative years of hip hop. This is a MUST-HAVE for all fans of the music and it’s culture.

Here is a fun fact about my personal connection to this release:
I am one of the music insiders who was invited to have a voice in the selection of the songs that would be included on this definitive anthology of hip-hop and rap.

The final songs that were chosen for this ground-breaking and historical release were compiled by a committee of well-respected rappers, scholars, writers, aficionado’s, music critics and industry leaders. The committee was led by rappers Chuck D of Public Enemy and MC Lyte, Jeff Chang, and Mark Anthony Neil (writers and scholars), Bill Adler and Bill Stephney (early Def Jam Executives), Questlove (Co-founder of The Roots, author, film maker and band leader of The Tonight Show) and 9th Wonder (rap artist and educator).

I was asked to submit 100 songs that I felt were worthy of being on this important piece of hip-hop history. I was quite pleased when I saw that many of my selections were loved by the whole group…they made the cut and are on SMITHSONIAN’S ANTHOLOGY of HIP-HOP and RAP.

You can add the “Smithsonian Anthology of Hip Hop and Rap” to your own collection by clicking here…If you have a special hip hop fan in your life, this makes an AMAZING GIFT!


HOP HOORAY (Part I)….How it all started



And….for more information about the Smithsonian Anthology of hip hop, follow the link below to a previous feature about this collectors dream:

GREATEST HITS – Violet Brown Told Me

Make sure you stop by often to check out new ‘HIP HOP HOORAY” features….coming soon.

Looking for the music from one of the Grammy WINNERS or NOMINEES…you can find them ALL with this link to the Grammy Sale on

For more rap and hip-hop music on sale, click here.