Questlove, Black Thought, and Artists from A Great Day in Hip Hop - Honorees - The Gordon Parks Foundation

Questlove, Black Thought, Jane Blaze, Benny Boom, Buckshot, Busta Rhymes, DJ Kool Herc, DJ Scratch, Domingo, Easy AD, Fab 5 Freddy, Fat Joe, Hakim Green, Heather B, Kool Keith, Lord Jamar, Tuff Morgan, Rah Diggah, Rakim, Slick Rick, Styles P., Xzibit

In 1958, Art Kane (1925–1995) photographed 57 jazz musicians spilling off a brownstone stoop in Harlem for an Esquire magazine issue about the evolution of the genre. Since the Harlem Renaissance, the neighborhood had been a notable center of the uniquely American sound of jazz. His photograph—commonly referred to as A Great Day in Harlem—ingrained itself in our collective memory, epitomizing the “golden age” of jazz and Harlem. In 1995, Life magazine brought together 10 of the 12 surviving participants of Art Kane’s photograph “Golden Age of Jazz” (1958) where they stood nearly 40 years earlier at 17 East 126th Street. Gordon Parks took Kane’s place and made a new photograph.  In the moving image, the boarded up and roofless shell of the brownstone emphasized  the absent musicians who had died. Four decades after Kane, Gordon Parks visited the same brownstone at 17 East 126th Street for XXL magazine to photograph hip-hop artists, producers, and influencers. A Great Day in Hip-Hop shows 177 of a new genre’s “golden age” overflowing the stoop of number 17 to the two stoops on either side and reclaiming the space for the next generation. In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the historic Great Day in Hip-Hop, the 2019 Gordon Parks Foundation Annual Awards Dinner and Auction brought together a group of artists who partook in the 1998 photograph.


Gordon Parks, A Great Day in Hip-Hop, Harlem, New York, 1998