August 11, 2023 is Hip-Hop's 50th Anniversary! Join us in celebrating Hip-Hop’s influence and contributions to the arenas of culture (music, beatmaking, dance, visual arts, television, film, journalism and photography), education and pedagogy, business and branding, and the collection of oral and archival histories. Hip-Hop culture – now a global cultural export – is more than an expression of the creative arts. Hip-Hop culture has shaped the contours of our everyday life, practices, and institutions – including the knowledge production practices of the university.

You are invited to join a groundbreaking series that revolves around the following vital principles, bringing together Hip-Hop, Education, and Community:

  • Embracing Inclusive Education: We recognize the need for Hip-Hop education in institutions that may often uphold elitism, hierarchy, privilege, and power. Our mission is to break down these barriers and foster a space where all voices are heard and valued.
  • Bridging Communities Ethically: Universities hold knowledge production in high regard, but we understand the importance of involving the community in an ethical and meaningful manner. We strive to shift the paradigm and empower Hip-Hop culture to shine within academia.
  • Engaging Trailblazers and Masters of the Craft: Discover the visionaries who have shaped Hip-Hop's journey, with a special focus on Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. Explore the fifth element of Hip-Hop – "knowledge of self" – and unveil the knowledge production processes that make this culture truly unique.
  • Amplifying Hip-Hop Pedagogy: Explore the impact of Hip-Hop pedagogy at all education levels, from elementary to high school, and beyond into post-secondary (university and college) settings. Witness how this dynamic approach empowers students and fosters a passion for learning.
  • Unleashing Creativity: Collaborate and learn with talented and important Toronto and Greater Toronto Area artists and practitioners to immerse yourself in the mesmerizing creative processes of Hip-Hop's various practices and pillars. Discover the beauty of expression and how it shapes the world around us.
  • Reflecting on Ethics in Capitalist Spaces: Engage in meaningful discussions on the ethical deployment of Hip-Hop knowledge within spaces influenced by capitalism. Let's explore how we can use this cultural force for positive change without compromising its essence.
  • Preserving Local and Trans-Local Histories: Delve into the fascinating journey of Hip-Hop and its impact on local and trans-local communities. Embrace the opportunity to celebrate its rich history while ensuring its legacy lives on for generations to come.
  • A Tribute to Toronto Hip-Hop History: Be a part of history as we commission a remarkable art piece created by two generations of Toronto Hip-Hop Heritage, celebrating and documenting the vibrant tapestry of Toronto Hip-Hop from it’s beginning to the year 2000.. This living tribute will forever encapsulate the essence of our culture.

Join the Celebration!

We extend our warm invitation to academics, community members, artists, Hip-Hop practitioners, youth, students, and anyone interested in Hip-Hop and Hip-Hop culture.

Mark your calendars and be a part of this extraordinary event series, where culture, knowledge, and creativity unite!

Sep 22 – Mar 3, 2024  / All Day

The First 50: Toronto’s Hip Hop Architects

This exhibition features 50 of the most influential figures of the Toronto Hip Hop scene between the years 1980-2000.

Fri, Sep 22, 2023  / 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Citizen Kane’s Spade: Toronto’s OG B-Boy

Don't miss this rare opportunity to be part of a transformative discussion and immerse yourself in the wisdom of one of Hip-Hop's greatest.

Fri, Oct 6, 2023  / 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

“Know The Ledge”: Hip Hop Education, Pedagogy, & Professional Development

This professional development day explores the role of Hip-Hop education, pedagogy and curriculum building at all levels of schooling.

Wed, Oct 18, 2023  / 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Book Launch: The Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Dance Studies

Join us for a conversation about the groundbreaking Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Dance Studies.

Sep 6 – Apr 3, 2024  / 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Producers’ Circle

This drop-in, co-curricular initiative seeks to support Hart House's Hip Hop Education program by bringing together beatmakers producers and music creators.

Sep 15 – Apr 5, 2024  / 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Lyricists’ Lounge

In partnership with Toronto2.0, and Never Quantize, these low-key sessions are intended for anyone interested in exploring the craft and the art of Hip Hop.

Sat, Nov 25, 2023  / 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Making A Scene: Toronto Hip Hop at Hip Hop 50

Celebrate the making of our Toronto Hip Hop scene in a day-long conference!

Program schedule

6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Citizen Kane’s Spade: Toronto’s OG B-Boy

Location: Music Room, Hart House, Second Floor

With a career spanning over three decades in Toronto Hip Hop, Jeff ‘Spade’ Duke is Toronto’s OG b-boy having mastered the elements of graffiti (as Crazy Roc of the Graffiti Knights), breaking (as a dancer for Michie Mee and Intrikit), and emceeing (as the legendary emcee Spade of Citizen Kane). Known in the early days of the culture as the Hip Hop barber and eventually becoming a music producer and the owner of Treehouse Records, Jeff is a Hip Hop artist, innovator and entrepreneur.

To celebrate his artistic legacy, we begin with a conversation moderated by Michele Geister - creator of MuchMusic’s RapCity - and commentary from special guests, and will close with a special screening of director Alison Duke’s Raisin’ Kane: A Rapumentary which highlights the journey of Citizen Kane to promote their sophomore album Deliverance.

Co-Presented with Hip Hop Education Centre, join us for an evening to officially launch the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop!



Hip-Hop Education Center
9:00 am – 3:00 pm

“Know The Ledge”: Hip Hop Education, Pedagogy, & Professional Development

Location: East Common Room, 1st Floor, Hart House

Inspired by the title of the Rakim recording “Know The Ledge” – featured on the Juice soundtrack – this professional development day explores the role of Hip Hop education, pedagogy and curriculum building at the elementary, high school, and post-secondary (college and university) levels of education. The morning and afternoon sessions will feature some of the foremost thought leaders in the arena of Hip Hop education, teaching and curriculum development in formats that include panel discussions and facilitated workshops. The day’s conversations, which are intended for both teachers and teacher candidates alike, will detail the value and practical application of Hip Hop pedagogy and strategy in the classroom. As RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan once expressed, “knowledge is to know the ledge so we don't fall off the edge.”



2:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Book Launch: The Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Dance Studies

Location: Music Room, 2nd Floor, Hart House

Join us for a conversation about the groundbreaking Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Dance Studies.

Special Guests

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Producer's Circle

Location: Music Den, The Creative School, Toronto Metropolitan University

Join legendary producer K-Cut for an informal workshop session that brings together beatmakers, producers and music creators (at all levels of knowledge) to share beats, tracks, techniques, questions and ideas in a supportive and inclusive environment. The stories that this man can tell, you won’t want to miss!

Part of the Producer's Circle 2023-2024 series:


Co-presented with

Loop Sessions Toronto
The Creative School Innovation Studio
Music Den
Toronto Metropolitan University
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Lyricist's Lounge

Location: Arbor Room, Hart House, Basement

Join legendary emcees, Keysha Freshh and Dan-e-o for an informal workshop session that brings centered on bringing together lyricists and music creators (at all levels of knowledge) to share rhymes, techniques, questions and ideas in a supportive and inclusive environment. 

Part of the Lyricist's Lounge 2023-2024 series:


Co-presented with

Toronto 2.0
12:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Making A Scene: Toronto Hip Hop at Hip Hop 50

Location: Second Student Centre, 15 Library Lane, York University (Keele Campus)

On Hip Hop culture’s momentous fiftieth anniversary, we celebrate the making of our Toronto Hip Hop scene in a day-long conference at York University that endeavours to look back, archive and preserve.


Roots Rhymes Collective
York University
Hart House

Presenting Partners

York University
Roots Rhymes Collective



Event Metadata

Event Ended

  • Date: Fri, Sep 22, 2023
  • Upcoming Recurrences

    No results found for this timeframe (next 6 months from today).

  • Time & Duration: (all day) (1 days)
  • Venue:
    Hart House
    7 Hart House Cir,
    Toronto, ON M5S 3H3
    View Map
  • Room: Multiple rooms, see individual events for details.
  • Note: See individual events for registration details.
  • Event Contact: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)