Harry Belafonte / 3.1.27 - 4.25.23

Harry Belafonte, an iconic figure in the world of entertainment and social activism, has left an indelible mark on not just black culture but also hip hop culture. Born in 1927, Belafonte rose to prominence as a singer, actor, and civil rights activist, using his platform to advocate for racial equality and social justice. As the "King of Calypso," he introduced the vibrant rhythms and storytelling of Caribbean music to mainstream audiences, paving the way for the multicultural, genre-blending sounds that would later characterize hip hop. His commitment to activism also served as a blueprint for many hip hop artists, who channeled their own experiences and emotions into powerful, socially conscious lyrics. By breaking barriers and challenging the status quo, Harry Belafonte not only enriched black culture but also helped shape the foundation of hip hop, inspiring generations of artists to embrace their roots and use their voices for change.