The challenge was
Celebrate the cultural impact of hip hop.
Put it on wax. Actually, on your computer, preferably.
Hip hop has transcended boundaries and shaped popular culture for over half a century. In the ‘70s, it emerged as an expressive art form in the vibrant streets of the Bronx, New York. This creative explosion ignited a fire in the hearts of millions with the groundbreaking beats of DJ Kool Herc, the poetic prowess of Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, the captivating moves of the Dynamic Rockers and the Rock Steady Crew, and the works of so many other hip hop pioneers.
The original invite for what's considered to be the first hip hop show at historic Sedgwick Ave.
To honor this cultural force, your next officially licensed challenge is to craft a new design that honors hip hop’s legacy and ensures its continuous growth and impact. To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop in proper fashion, your judges for this challenge will include the original gangster himself, legendary underground rapper Ice-T, the world-renowned breaker Kid Glyde from the Dynamic Rockers, alongside the old-school graffiti crew Tats Cru! More on the celebrity judges below.
As you begin brainstorming ideas, immerse yourself in the rich history and core elements that define hip hop culture. Draw inspiration from the birth of rap, the revolutionary artistry of DJ-ing, the electrifying art of graffiti, and the epic breaking battles and performances. Bring together the spirit of hip hop's pioneers and the modern wave of artists who have carried the torch forward. Your design could capture the energy of a legendary rap battle, depict a breakdance crew owning the dance floor, pay tribute to iconic DJ techniques that have shaped the music we know and love, or create your own signature commemorative graffiti artwork.
Handmade flyers for some of the earliest hip hop shows, featuring legendary MCs.
Not only will your participation celebrate hip hop’s cultural impact, but it will also support a worthy cause. A portion of proceeds from this design challenge will directly benefit the For the Culture Fund, working toward a safer, brighter, more equitable future for hip hop and the communities that birthed the culture.
Guidelines to Follow:
- Refrain from using the names and/or likeness of real-life rappers, rap groups, entertainers, and artists.
- Refrain from creating or using any graphics that resemble a "parental advisory" sticker as it is a trademarked element.
- Artists can use and manipulate the following assets or simply use as inspiration to celebrate the culture of hip hop and its anniversary, all downloadable via this link:
- 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop logos
- Various elements (vintage show flyers, etc)
- Provided photo assets
- Approved lyrics
- No profanity, violence, overtly sexualized imagery.
First Place (1): $3000 Cash Prize, IceT will sign the winner’s tshirt, $250 Threadless Gift Card
Second Place (1): $500 Cash Prize, Merchandise Pack, $250 Threadless Gift Card
Third Place (1): Merchandise Pack, $250 Threadless Gift Card
Plus, all designs (including the first place winner) can earn up to $20 per unit on products of your design sold on Threadless.com, your Artist Shop, and other retail opportunities! Read more...
Officially Licensed by The 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop
All approved designs from this challenge have been officially licensed
Ice-T not only invented gangster rap, he has lived it. Ice-T is the original embodiment of LA Hip Hop and a cultural icon. Through his music, his multiple books, and his lecture tours of America’s prisons, high schools, libraries, and colleges (including Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford), Ice-T has become a cultural icon and an influential spokesman for America’s youth, regardless of color.
Born an only child in New Jersey, Ice-T learned the art of survival pretty fast. Both his parents passed before he was 11, resulting in him relocating to Los Angeles to live with an alcoholic aunt. He struck out on his own at 16 and soon became involved in crime while navigating the LA gangs scene, then joined the Army. From these difficult beginnings, he persevered to become a ubiquitous figure in pop culture. He got his first big break rapping in the 1984 film Breakin’, helping to jumpstart a prolific music career that has yielded monster hits including the Grammy–nominated “New Jack Hustler” and the controversial “Cop Killer” from his thrash metal band Body Count.
In between his musical endeavors, Ice-T has built an incredible resume in film and television. He has starred in movies such as New Jack City, Ricochet, and Johnny Mnemonic, and is currently filming his 25th season of Law & Order: SVU. He also directed the documentary Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap and produced Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp in 2012.
For his contributions to the entertainment industry, Ice-T was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2023. After decades in the game, he continues to stay involved, releasing new music, acting, writing books, and holding court as hip hop’s original gangster.
Victor “Kid Glyde” Alicea’s credo is “If you can conceive it, you can achieve it.”
At thirty years old, Kid Glyde has already achieved much of what he has conceived—and won’t be stopping anytime soon. Hailing from Queens, New York, Kid Glyde is the president of the acclaimed NYC b-boy crew, The Dynamic Rockers, which he not only inherited, but has also revived. He has appeared in acclaimed dance movies such as Step Up 2 and 3, Bumper, Pressure, and the b-boy documentary All Out War. He is also the principal actor in I Break NY, a webisode series about Kid Glyde and the Dynamic Rockers’ struggles and triumphs in 2009.
Kid Glyde is the son of legendary Glyde of the original Dynamic Rockers and has been breaking for sixteen years, starting with lessons from both his father and Kid Freeze. After his first major battle victory in 2006 at the Universal Zulu Nation B-boy/B-girl Throwdown, he has only continued further with his success as a b-boy. He has taken titles at major battles such as the Rock Steady Crew Anniversary Battles in 2007 and 2008 and won Eurobattle 2009 with his crew. He also represented the USA in the 2009 Red Bull BC One competition, the most prestigious 1 v. 1 b-boy battle in the world.
Tats Cru is a legendary group of New York City-based graffiti artists who began their artistic careers by creating subway graffiti in the mid 80’s as Hip Hop influence spread across the globe. They quickly became a fixture in Hip Hop culture as they changed people’s perception of graffiti as an art through their respected work.