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Part of Sedgwick Ave. Could be Renamed 'Hip-Hop Boulevard'

By Kiratiana Freelon | March 20, 2014 9:14am
 Hip-hop pioneer DJ Kool Herc plans to attend a community board meeting about the co-naming of Sedgwick Avenue.
Hip-Hop Boulevard
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BRONX — The street where hip-hop began four decades ago with a house party by DJ Kool Herc might be singing a new tune — sporting a street sign to show its place in music history.

A West Bronx community board committee is set to hold a public hearing Thursday on a proposal to co-name part of Sedgwick Avenue “Hip-Hop Boulevard” to honor Herc and his fellow founding fathers of hip-hop.

“I have no problem with it,” said Herc, 58, who plans to attend the hearing.

A proposal by self-styled historian Jacob Morris prompted the community board action, which comes a week after Councilman Fernando Cabrera called for establishing a hip-hop museum at the Kingsbridge Ice Center.

"It's way overdue to honor the role that Sedgwick Avenue and the Bronx had in the role of founding something so pervasive as hip-hop," said Morris, who pointed to a legendary Aug. 13, 1973 house party as the start of hip-hop.

Residents are welcome to speak during Thursday’s hearing, which begins 6 p.m. at I.S. 229, 275 Harlem River Park Bridge, off Depot Place.

"If you live on Sedgwick Avenue, it’s about you,” said Xavier Rodriguez, the district manager of Community Board 5. "You decide if it’s a good thing."

Pamela Dickens, who also lives on Sedgwick Avenue and attended Herc’s fabled parties as a youth, believes co-naming acknowledges the role the neighborhood played in a lasting cultural movement.

"I think that it will keep it fresh in people’s mind where hip-hop really originated from,” Dickens said.

Morris agreed. “It’s the right thing for Sedgwick,” he said. "It’s the right thing for hip-hop and it’s the right thing for the Bronx.”