“Hip hop is the ultimate American art form,” Harris said at the party. “Born at a back-to-school party in the Bronx, raised on the streets of Philadelphia, Chicago, Oakland, and Atlanta, hip hop now shapes nearly every aspect of America’s popular culture and it reflects the incredible diversity and ingenuity of the American people.”
“To be clear, hip-hop culture is America’s culture,” the VP continued. “It is music and melody and rhyme. Hip-hop is also an ethos of strength and self-determination; of ambition and aspiration; of pride, power, and purpose. Hip-hop is a declaration of identity. It says I love who I am. I represent where I come from, and I know where I’m going.”
Over 400 guests and a slew of artists participated in Saturday’s festivities. Artists Common, D-Nice, Omarion, Jeezy, MC Lyte, Roxanne Shante, and many more were present for the celebration along with Congressional Black Caucus members Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.), Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.).
Harris was spotted dancing to Q-Tip’s “Vivrant Thing” in a video that went viral on social media.
The vice president said Saturday that hip-hop artists have “helped to elevate the collective conscience through their voices.”
“Half a century later, it is clear hip hop will not be erased. Hip hop is here to stay,” Harris said.