Oakland’s annual Hiero Day celebration marks 50th anniversary of hip-hop

On Monday, the 11th annual Hiero Day kicked off in Oakland, but this year was even more special – it was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop.

“Fifty years of being able to say ‘man, we never thought hip-hop would take it this far,” said Bay Area hip-hop artist Mistah F.A.B.

He was among the artists at Hiero Day at the Frank Ogawa Plaza. The day also honored 30 years of “93 ’til Infinity,” the debut album of hip-hop group Souls of Mischief.

“Just seeing that everybody is celebrating hip-hop and treating it how it should be treated rather than a street art form that is lesser compared to all the other art forms that also probably also started on the street, it’s a great thing,” said Tajai Massey, a founding member Souls of Mischief – also a part of the hip-hop collective Hieroglyphics, which founded Hiero Day in 2012.

Monday’s celebration featured live music, vendors and a sense of community. Andrea Wash is an East Bay resident who has been celebrating Hiero Day for several years now.

“We out here celebrating the good vibes and all that it brings to the community. Hip-hop is the culture that brings everybody together,” Wash said.

And she’s not wrong. Throughout Frank Ogawa Plaza, it was seen and felt.

“Oakland hip-hop is in my eyes always often overlooked and underappreciated by the rest of the world, but one thing about Oakland, we have so much pride. We will never let it go unforgotten or go under the radar in our eyes,” Mistah F.A.B. said.

And with all the challenges that the city of Oakland is facing, people who know Oakland say this is the part that people may not always see.

“Let’s focus on the positives,” said Mistah F.A.B. “And this is a side of Oakland that we’re the most proud of and we must acknowledge that, and let’s continue to push this side.”

Massey said he hopes this is a tradition that continues for years to come.

“We want this to be something that continues to sustain itself from now until infinity,” he said.

City leaders like Mayor Sheng Thao also attended the celebration.

Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, everyday.

We don’t spam! Read our [link]privacy policy[/link] for more info.