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Philadelphia Celebrates Birth Of Hip Hop

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- It's Hip Hop Celebration Day in Philadelphia, and there's a city proclamation to prove it. A New York man with local roots is hoping take the celebration nationwide.

Hip hop music was born on August 11, 1973 when Kool Herc got on the mic at a party in the Bronx New York.

Forty-two years later, hip hop is its own musical genre with Philly giving birth to artists like Lady B, The Fresh Prince and the Roots, as well as admirers like Mayor Michael Nutter, who performed Rapper's Delight at Philly's 4th of July Jam.

"I have reached out to mayors in different cities coast to coast," says LeRoy McCarthy, a Cheyney University graduate now living in New York. He is the force behind this effort to recognize hip hop and says he's requested and received proclamations from Philadelphia, Oakland, California, Englewood and Newark, New Jersey, and two boroughs in New York. But he wants to take it nationwide.

"Honoring hip-hop would show to the communities where hip-hop historically comes from, and that the city, government, law enforcement has respect for their art and culture," he says.

McCarthy says the momentum is picking up, so next year on hip hop's birthday, he wants more cities involved.

Happy Birthday hip hop!

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