Legendary DJ, VJ, producer, and pioneer hip-hop personality "Uncle" Ralph McDaniels has joined Queens Library as its first Hip Hop Coordinator!

Mr. McDaniels will be working with Queens Library to build relationships within the hip hop community with an eye toward preserving that history and creating archival library collections. He will also be coordinating related programs and events of cultural interest to the Queens community, especially to attract young people into the library. Queens Library began an initiative to preserve and celebrate Queens' hip-hop heritage in 2014.

The announcement ushers in a week of special programs that celebrate the culture, history, and impact of hip hop. The schedule is below. All events are free.

"Hip hop is an important part of Queens' musical and cultural heritage. We need to preserve that history. At the same time, music is a living, breathing way to connect with the community and attract new library users. There's no one better to work with us on building library programs and collections based on hip hop than Ralph McDaniels. He is a media pioneer and was an eyewitness to its birth," said Bridget Quinn-Carey, Interim President and CEO of Queens Library.

Ralph McDaniels said, "The elements of hip hop include MC'ing, DJ'ing, writing/aerosol art, b-boying (dance), and knowledge. Until now, we haven't had the body of knowledge in any organized way. Queens Library can help move that forward locally, nationally, and internationally. The most successful hip-hop artists came from Queens. Hip hop grew out of Queens' jazz legacy. It belongs here."

Celebrate the culture, history, and impact of hip hop with us and our special guests!

Download the Hip Hop History Month brochure.

Monday, November 16, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
The History of FUBU with Keith Perrin
Queens Library at South Hollis, 204-01 Hollis Avenue

Keith Perrin, co-founder of FUBU (For Us, By Us), will discuss how FUBU became one of the most successful urban-clothing companies in history. He will share his story and tell how the company grew from a start-up created with a modest investment to a business worth more than $350 million today.


Thursday, November 19, 5:00-7:30 p.m.
Hip Hop Behind the Lens  with Ken Harris, a.k.a. KENTHEPHOTOGRAPHER 
Queens Library at Rochdale Village, 169-09 137 Avenue, Jamaica

Queens-born photographer Ken Harris, a.k.a. KENTHEPHOTOGRAPHER, will discuss pieces from his collection of photographs documenting significant events, celebrities, and everyday life. You never know who will stop by to sign autographs, take pictures, and give shout outs!

You can also be part of our Hip Hop History Show and Tell! Bring your stories, photos, posters, and other mementos, and the Queens Memory Team will digitize your best submissions for the library’s archive and give you a thumb drive of the scans.


Friday, November 20, 4:00-5:45 p.m.
Universal Zulu Nations presents “Breakin’ Session” with Floor Royalty Crew  
Langston Hughes Community Library
, 100-01 Northern Boulevard, Corona

Come out and learn the basic breakin’ moves from the early days of Hip Hop culture.


Saturday, November 21, 1:00-5:00 p.m.
Universal Zulu Nations presents La Conekta Family Day Celebration   
Langston Hughes Community Library, 100-01 Northern Boulevard, Corona

Celebrate Hip Hop history and culture as we join together under the umbrella of peace, love, unity, and having fun! Enjoy a day of performances, music, dancing, live art, and many other fun activities for the family.


Monday, November 23, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
The Art of DJ’ing  
Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway

Learn how DJs create successful careers, from the booth to the airwaves. A “Battle of the DJs” with special guests will follow.