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Hip-Hop at Middle Age

En español | Is hip-hop really middle-aged? The first rap records were released in the 1970s, born out of a do-it-yourself urban culture where DJs replaced bands and kids expressed themselves by crafting raucous rhymes to flow over records’ beats. Many of the genre’s early creators are still around, recording and performing, or have turned their success in music to other frontiers– film, TV, media, business, even the ministry. AARP spoke to some of the pioneers of rap about the musical movement that took the world by storm, and where it stands today.


Hip-Hop at Middle Age: Rap Pioneers Reflect

Trailblazers of the musical movement talk about their journey, and the road ahead

B-Real on the Ageless Quality of Hip-Hop

The cofounder of Cypress Hill tells AARP how he developed his unique rapping style

YoYo on Teaching Kids How to Write

The 48-year-old on finding new purpose with ‘YoYo’s School of Hip-Hop'


DMC on Always Being Open to Trying Something New

Now 55, Darryl McDaniels reflects on life as a rap pioneer, even as he had to hide it from his parents

Rakim on Being Part of a Movement

Rap innovator reflects on a difficult youth and how music helped him find his way

Timeline: How Hip-Hop Took Over the World

From 'Pigmeat' Markham to Lil Nas X, explore the path of this American art form

Kurtis Blow on Telling the Whole Story of Hip-Hop

At 60 years old, the rapper-turned-minister takes on a new challenge: running a museum

RZA Discusses His Formula for Success

The leader of the Wu-Tang Clan tells AARP about his second act in filmmaking

Hip-Hop at Middle Age: Rap's Second Act

How rap pioneers are reinventing themselves

Rakim Was First Rap MC to Get a $1 Million Contract

The rap innovator reflects on his rise to fame

Rapper YoYo Demanded Respect From Mentor Ice Cube

On representing women in a hypermasculine industry


DMC Became the King of Rock by Pretending

Run-DMC's Darryl McDaniels, 55, reveals how comic books fueled his success

Cypress Hill’s B-Real on His Distinctive Voice

He talks about his new passions as an entrepreneur and media host