Celebrate Hip-Hop History Month with two hours of chronological Hip-Hop classics every day in every Hard Rock Hotel.


What am I listening to?

5:00 pm – Origins of Hip-Hop

5:10 pm – 80’s Classics

5:30 pm – 90’s Renaissance

6:00 pm – 2000’s Bling Era

6:30 pm – Contemporary





wax® offers guests the opportunity to tune in to the vinyl resurgence and experience music as it was intended to be listened to. Hard Rock has amplified the in-room listening experience by offering a turntable, over-ear premium acoustic headphones, and a curated collection of vinyl chosen by Hard Rock’s team of music experts.

To celebrate Hip-Hop History Month we’ve added ten classic Hip-Hop albums on vinyl to your hotel’s Wax collection. Ask the staff or Vibe Manager to rock out in your room now.

Beastie Boys - Licensed to Ill

Beastie Boys - Licensed to Ill

Release Date - November 1986

Producer Rick Rubin, who later worked with Johnny Cash and Red Hot Chili Peppers, harnesses the power, youthful energy and b-boy wit of three boys from New York City. With their roots in Punk Rock, after the release of ‘Licensed to Ill’ the Beastie Boys became one of the most influential groups of all time with albums like ‘Paul’s Boutique’. ‘Ill Communication’ and ‘Hello Nasty’.

Key Songs -

  • Fight For Your Right (To Party)
  • Rhymin’ And Stealin’
  • No Sleep Till Brooklyn
  • Girls
  • Slow and Low
Eric B and Rakim - Paid In Full

Eric B and Rakim - Paid in Full

Release Date - July 1987

If Hip Hop is poetry then Rakim is Shakespeare. The original master. Hip-Hop would not be the billion dollar industry it is now without this seminal album. Thoughtful, powerful, and fun tunes that made the mastery of lyric writing look easy.

Key Songs -

  • Paid In Full
  • I Know You Got Soul
  • Don’t Sweat The Technique
  • I Ain’t No Joke


Public Enemy - It takes a million to hold us back

Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

Release Date - June 1988

Rolling Stone called this album the ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ of Hip-Hop, and boy were they right. Hip-Hop’s birth remained largely cultural and unpolitical until artists like Public Enemy and NWA emerged in the late 80s. A mixture of politics, rage, and unbelievably catchy choruses.

Key Songs -

  • Rebel Without A Pause
  • Bring The Noise
  • Don’t Believe The Hype 


Nas - Illmatic

Nas - Illmatic

Release Date - June 1988

As timeless as a renaissance paintings, and with lyrics that similarly paint a picture perfectly encapsulating the nineties, ‘Illmatic’ went far beyond Nas’s years of just 20 when this album was released.

Key Songs -

  • N.Y State Of Mind
  • The World Is Yours
  • Represent


LL Cool J - Mama said knock you out

LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out

Release Date - September 1990

Mama Said Knock You Out’ sounds like something a boxer would say before a fight, and for good reason - LL Cool J wanted to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of Hip Hop. And he won. Packing rhyme-punches and beats that have more hooks than Mike Tyson!

Key Songs -

  • Around The Way Girl
  • Mama Said Knock You Out
  • Jingling Baby


Dr. Dre - The Chronic

Dr. Dre - The Chronic

Release Date - December 1992

If you need ill rhymes, call the doctor. With synthesized basslines and funk samples Dre trailblazed what is now called ‘G-Funk’ (Gangsta Funk). Packed with catchy tunes and an easy, party feel ‘The Chronic’ is the Mona Lisa of 90s West Coast rap.<

Key Songs -

  • F**k Wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)
  • Nuthin’ But A “G” Thang
  • Let Me Ride


Notorious B.I.G - Ready To Die

Notorious B.I.G - Ready To Die

Release Date - September 1994

Modern Hip-Hip wouldn’t be what it is without ‘Ready To Die’. From his early days pummelling competitors in street freestyle battles, ‘Biggie’s’ lyricism and ability to inject poignant, nostalgic humor into his words established his ongoing influence in the genre, even with his untimely death in 1997.

Key Songs -

  • Juicy
  • Big Poppa
  • Suicidal Thoughts


The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

Release Date - August 1998

You probably know Ms Hill from the Fugees, but by the mid-90s Ms. Hill felt the urge to express herself in ways that went beyond her multi-million rap troupe. Full of insecurity (a rare trope in Hip-Hop), soul, R&B and melodies, ‘The Miseducation’ is a seminal, genre defying album, and a benchmark for women in music.

Key Songs -

  • Doo Wop (That Thing)
  • Ex-Factor
  • Everything Is Everything


Jay-Z Vol 2...Hard Knock Life

Jay-Z - Vol 2... Hard Knock Life

Release Date - Septmber 1998

Jay-Z is the definition of New York Hip-Hip; rough, gritty, brutal and beautiful. A true wordsmith that stands up against great American lyricists like Paul Simon and Cole Porter, Jay’s ability to use words as weapons has been nothing short of a marvel for four decades.


Key Songs -

  • Hard Knock Life
  • Can I Get A…
  • Money Ain’t A Thang


Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy

Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy

Release Date - April 2018

An iron-fist wrapped in Chanel, Cardi-B is one of the biggest selling female Hip Hop artists of all time, which is remarkable given this record was released in 2018 and is HER ONLY ALBUM!

Key Songs -

  • I Like It
  • Bodak Yellow
  • Bartier Cardi (feat. 21 Savage)




The Birth of Hip Hop: early 1970's to the mid-1980s
Birthed in The Bronx, NY, Hip Hop and Rap has redefined the landscape of American music, and is now a billion dollar industry. The earliest performances combined MCs (master of ceremonies) and DJ's, with break dancers and graffiti writers. Hip-hop music culture is a product of African American, Afro-Caribbean and Latino inner-city communities. DJ Kool Herc gave the community its blueprints and its first brand of hip-hop music, called b-beat.

Major record companies formed partnerships with independent labels and producers specializing in rap music, thanks to initial trailblazers likes.

Sugarhill Gang, Afrika Bambaataa. Influences include James Brown, Kraftwerk and Captain Sky.

The Golden Era (mid-1980s to the mid-1990s)
In 1984 the term 'New School Rap' was coined for artists like Run DMC, The Fresh Prince and Fat Boys. And importantly, female artists like Salt N Pepa, Queen Latifah, Mc Lyte and Roxanne Shante broke into the mainstream, whose influence is still seen today with the likes of Cardi B and Lizzo.

The Hardcore era of Hip Hop soon took hold with politics and racism emerging in lyricism and presentation with groups like N.W.A, Public Enemy and Eric B and Rakim.

Soon after came Gansta Rap with Biggy, 2Pac, Luniz, Master P and T.I to name a few. Afrocentric and conscious rappers like Lauryn Hill, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, and Gang Starr favored soul and jazz samples in their mixes.

21st Century Hip Hop (mid-90s to the mid-2000s)
In the 2000s, hip-hop music was mainstream. Kanye West’s production and lyricism redirected attention away from gangsta rap and explored a range of topics including his middle-class upbringing, anti-Black racism, corporatism, and his faith presented in full self-aggrandizing style. Additionally, Eminem will become a most revered lyricist, by rap artists and rap fans alike, breaking past an obstacle of white inauthenticity laid down by Vanilla Ice a decade earlier.

Contemporary Hip Hop (2010's to present)
Hip Hop is and remains the biggest selling genre in America, and even globally in most key markets. Kendrick Lamar, Metro Boomin, Lizzo, Travis Scott, Ashnikko and J Cole.





10 Fun Hip-Hop Facts


  1. Hip Hop was born at a birthday party in 1973 in the Bronx, New York City.
  2. At this party, DJ Kool Herc placed two copies of Brown's 1970 Sex Machine album and ran "an extended of the percussion breakdown" from "Give It Up or Turnit a Loose" on the turntables. This simple moment was the birth of Hip Hop.
  3. James Brown is the most sampled artist in Hip-Hop. His songs, vocals, grooves and beats have been reimagined in Hip Hop songs over a whopping 9000 times. That must feel good.
  4. The Hip-Hop song widely regarded as introducing Hip-Hop to a large audience was ‘Rapper's Delight’ by Sugarhill Gang. But did you know the song samples Chic’s ‘Good Times’?
  5. Sha-Rock, MC Lyte, Salt-N-Pepa and Queen Latifa are credited as the primary female artists to introduce Hip Hop to the mainstream.
  6. Hard Rock currently owns over a thousand pieces of Hip-Hop memorabilia. With 70 currently on display in properties from artists like Run Dmc, Public Enemy, Ice-T, JAY-Z, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, LL Cool J, MC Hammer, Snoop Dogg, Tone Loc, Eminen and most recently Rick Ross and Ja Rule.
  7. Iconic Hip-Hop artists Busta Rhymes, Big Joe and Nas were all present for the opening of Hard Rock Hotel New York. That’s a cool one hundred million albums sold between the three of them!
  8. The biggest selling Hip-Hop album of all time is Eminem’s ‘The Eminem Show’ which has sold 27 million copies.
  9. Cardi B is currently the biggest selling female Hip Hop artist, with over 31 million records sold.
  10. The word ' break dance ' was also derived from the breakbeat DJing of Kool Herc. He named the performing "boys" and "girls" as b-boys and b-girls, When they danced, they were represented as "breaking."