With the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop officially landing on August 11, the celebrations are in full force. On Saturday (May 20), MC Sha-Rock—Hip-Hop’s first female MC—was honored at the 51st Annual Bronx Ball. During the festivities, Sha-Rock was given the Key to the Bronx. Her daughter, Tia Evette, shared several photos of the event to her Instagram account and applauded Sha-Rock for her accomplishments.
“Last night, my mother was honored for her remarkable achievements with a significant recognition,” she captioned the post. “The Bronx Tourism Council, in collaboration with the Bronx Borough President, Vennessa L. Gibson, presented her with the prestigious Key to the Bronx. This is a testament to her immeasurable impact on the borough and the world of Hip Hop.
“As I stand alongside her, I proudly carry forward her legacy, continuing to champion the empowerment of women in Hip Hop and beyond. Together, we will ensure that the spirit of Hip Hop lives on and that future generations are inspired to break barriers, just as my mother did.”
The Cold Crush Brothers were also honored with their own Key to the Bronx due to their pioneering contributions to Hip-Hop, which Sha-Rock acknowledged in a statement to AllHipHop.
“To be honored with the Key to the Bronx was so surreal,” MC Sha-Rock says. “It felt as though I was in a Twilight Zone. For the Bronx to acknowledge my contributions as the first women MC and a trailblazer of the cultural phenomenon we call Hip-Hop is a testament to my legacy. This was the first time in history that a woman was ever presented a Key to the Bronx. Respect to The Crush Brothers who were presented with a Key to the Bronx as well. Thank you Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, Bronx Tourism Counsel, Andy King and the Hip-Hop community.”
The 2023 Bronx Ball brought out a bevy of stars, including Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Tatyana Ali, who ran into Sha-Rock not long after she received the key. In another Instagram post, both women are visibly elated as they bask in the moment.
MC Sha-Rock was a member of the Funky 4 + 1 and the sole female MC of the group. In 1981, they became the first Hip-Hop group to appear on national television after Blondie’s Debbie Harry invited them to perform on Saturday Night Live. Sha-Rock is affectionately referred to as a the “Mother of the Mic,” a title she rightfully earned.