Mayor Adams talks hip-hop history: 'The music became a movement'

From inside a rarely used special room at City Hall, FOX 5 NY’s Lisa Evers sat down for an exclusive conversation with Mayor Eric Adams about his lifelong connection to hip-hop, what it means to him, and what it means to the city.

You can watch the interview above. A transcript of their conversation is below.

MAYOR ERIC ADAMS: Sitting here as the mayor, who would have thought hip-hop would have gotten us this far, as Biggie would say?

LISA EVERS: How did hip-hop first grab you?

MAYOR: I think growing up as a child, you know, it's amazing. Sometimes you don't know what you are experiencing is going to have a global impact. It was in the auditorium. One day we were doing something with some type of drill, and we heard someone on the microphone doing this rhyme, and we knew that this was new, and then you had block parties, music in the park. I grew up in South Jamaica, Queens where you had Run DMC and I used to see them coming to and from carrying crates of records up the stairs, so you just felt that it was a sound that identified with you and it was put in a place that you didn't have to have a great voice, you don't have to be a singer who does. It was an everyday sound that you were just able to make happen, it was something that caught on.

LISA: This is the first time there's been any kind ff official artwork here.

MAYOR: First time at City Hall, and our goal was to use these posters to show the evolution and remember the good old days? $2, $3, $5. These are really  iconic posters, you just saw the creativity, nothing fancy, you just had one artist who would draw it out, and then started going. DJ Hollywood, just really impressive, Al Smith Center, these just bring back so many memories.

LISA:  What were some of the lessons, or maybe just inspiration you got from hip-hop, because here's a culture coming from some of the most underserved communities in the United States, mostly Black and brown women and men, people who had been marginalized, whose stories were not being told?

MAYOR: It goes back to Marvin Gaye "What's going on?" Some of us were able to identify with "What's Going On" and Marvin Gaye and some of those issues. And that's what hip-hop did, not only did it help us enjoy the beats and the sounds, but you saw yourself.

It hit mainstream, but it wasn't an easy journey to get to mainstream but it was a long road but it became global, but it's amazing to see it and having it here means a lot.

Unlike any other genre of music did, the music became a movement.

Looking ahead, the mayor told Lisa he hopes every generation will be inspired by hip-hop's example of succeeding against all odds.