Telling the Story of Hip Hop

Our Hip Hop Programs at Queens Public Library recognize and promote the artistic evolution and growth of the Hip Hop community.

Contact the Hip Hop team to learn more about our programs.
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Queens Public Library has embarked on a mission to recognize and promote the growth of the hip hop community. We provide Queens Public Library customers with programming that enhances their knowledge of the worldwide music movement and cultural phenomenon. This reflects the important role Queens communities played in hip hop's ascension from a local art form to an internationally recognized movement.

While providing programs that promote the overall mission, Queens Public Library also collects and displays artifacts such as pictures, periodicals, audio tapes, video tapes, writings, news articles, flyers, and oral histories from people involved with the music from the origins of the genre, up until present day.

Our goals are to bring awareness to the fundamental elements of Hip Hop culture and to build a community. We are committed to preserving and continuing Queens’s legacy and historical contributions to Hip Hop.

Pioneering TV host and Hip Hop historian Ralph McDaniels is the Hip Hop Coordinator for Queens Public Library.



Collections of Culture: 50 Years of Hip Hop Inside Libraries, Museums and Archives

Hip Hop’s 50th anniversary represents a milestone for an American genre of music that started in the streets of NYC. Queens Public Library, with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, is embarking on an epic year-long celebration. The programs under this initiative will be in-person, live-streamed, and archived for future generations.

Register today at to stay up-to-date on scheduled events.


Virtual Hip Hop Programs

From the onset of the pandemic in early Spring 2020, QPL Hip Hop Coordinator Ralph McDaniels has been hosting livestreams on the QPL Instagram page to engage with our community.

The livestreams include Live Talks from Queens that cover a wide range of topics and feature special guests and artists; and the All Vinyl 45s Hip Hop and Soul Brunch, featuring Uncle Ralph’s DJ sets of hip hop, soul, funk, and old-school favorites.

More than sharing music, these livestreams are a place of community support allowing for discussions about life, prevailing social issues, and more.

Watch Ralph McDaniels’s livestream programs every Tuesday and Saturday on QPL’s Instagram page, and catch up on the replays at QPL’s Instagram Reels collection.


Hip Hop 101 Master Class for Teens

Queens Public Library is starting our Hip Hop 101 Master Class program, which will provide mentoring, skills building, and entrepreneur skills for our teen participants.

Teens will learn how to create DJ mixes, beats, and Positive Community Podcasts, and feel a sense of excitement as they interact with positive adult role models and learn from experts.

The content will be teen-directed, and our participants will be encouraged to grapple with social justice and other issues that directly affect them. At the end of the program, teens will be able to market themselves and become young entrepreneurs.

This six-week program for teens will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the following branches:

Hip Hop 101 programs at QPL are supported by grants from The Keith Haring Foundation and The Amazin' Mets Foundation.

The Keith Haring Foundation and Queens Public Library share the common goals of helping young people use artistic expression to channel their emotions in a productive way, and explore their creativity and ambitions.

The Amazin' Mets Foundation is committed to providing needed services and opportunities to children, families, and underserved groups in our neighborhoods and communities. Together, we can inspire change and make a lasting impact on and off the field.