Ed Koch’s Legacy in Hip-Hop


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Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch died this morning at 88. It’s a sad moment because he was the first New York City mayor that I was aware of as a kid. The mayors who came before seem like names from a history book, whereas the name “Koch” will always sound contemporary for me.

Over at Slate, there is a smart article about how Hizzoner’s legacy was intimately tied with the emergence of hip-hop.

“Koch presided over New York City from 1977 to 1989, almost exactly the years during which hip-hop went from a small scene of Bronx block parties to a global cultural phenomenon. During those years, the history of hip-hop is the history of Ed Koch’s New York: Until the last couple years of his reign, nearly every major hip-hop artist rose out of one of the five boroughs or Long Island.”

Definitely worth a read for children of the Eighties.