Let’s make something clear right up front: some of the most important places in hip hop history are pretty rough. Rappers have never been shy about drug deals, street violence and poverty. You don’t want to go to the Queensbridge projects and start asking about Nas’ criminal past. These spots are a little more tourist-friendly.
The Apollo Theater
The legendary theater is an important part of both hip hop culture and Black American arts in general. A great place to see a show, because if it sucks, it gets swept off stage.
Graffiti Wall of Fame, East Harlem, NYC
Here you can see the whole history of graffiti laid out. Some incredible art is on display, including classic and new pieces.
Fort Greene Park
Gang Starr’s song “The Planet” refers to getting haircuts in Fort Greene. If you don’t have time for a trim, just take a stroll through Fort Greene Park.