2020 55¢ Hip Hop
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: July 1, 2020
First Day City: New York, NY
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 20,000,000
Developed on the streets of New York City in the 1970s, hip hop is not just a style of music, but a culture and art movement centered around creativity.
Many aspects of hip hop culture are rooted in African and Caribbean traditions, most significantly Jamaican block parties of the 1950s. Jamaican immigrants brought these parties to urban New York neighborhoods, where they soon became regular events. Hip hop was born at these parties, combining music, dancing, and art into a movement.
Some of hip hop’s pioneers recognized early on that it could be a way to help teenagers express themselves. Rather than join gangs and get into trouble on the streets, they could focus their energy into the creative aspects of hip hop. Several people in the hip hop community admit that it saved a lot of lives. Hip hop enabled minorities to deal with the hardships they faced and express themselves in a creative and safe manner.
While hip hop is generally characterized by nine elements, four are considered essential. The DJ creates the music and beat through innovative use of records and sound equipment. MCs (or rappers) sing or speak clever rhymes. B-boys (short for break-boys, because they dance in the song’s break), perform acrobatic and gravity-defying moves. Graffiti is the visual expression of the hip hop movement that is considered both controversial and evolving art form.
Hip hop’s influence has spread far and wide in American culture – from movies and fashion to a set of stamps issued by the USPS in 2020.