As Hip Hop Celebrates 50th, Artists Still Strive for Success and Unity

In its 50-year journey, hip hop has taken the world by storm, becoming the most popular music genre globally. As this influential genre celebrates its golden anniversary, artists like Robert 'Robby Freak' Borga and Joe 'Wicked Sweet' Wigger from Jacksonville are working hard to strengthen the hip hop scene in central Illinois. Join me as we delve into the incredible impact of hip hop and the unwavering dedication artists have in embracing success and building community.

The Evolution of Hip Hop

Tracing the remarkable growth of hip hop from its humble beginnings to global domination.

In 1973, Clive 'DJ Kool Herc' Campbell sparked a musical revolution with his innovative spin on record-playing techniques. The birth of hip hop took place that day, forever changing the music industry.

Since then, hip hop has evolved into the most popular genre of music worldwide, surpassing rock in 2018. Embracing diverse influences, it has found its way into the hearts and playlists of people from all walks of life.

From its origins in the Bronx, hip hop spread across the globe, absorbing local flavors and connecting cultures. The continuous growth and expansion of this genre sparked a new era of creativity and self-expression.

Hip Hop Takes Root in Central Illinois

Exploring the thriving local hip hop scene in central Illinois and its contribution to the genre's continued success.

While major cities have traditionally dominated the hip hop scene, emerging artists in central Illinois are making their presence felt. Jacksonville, for instance, has become a hub for talented artists like Robert 'Robby Freak' Borga and Joe 'Wicked Sweet' Wigger, who are breaking barriers and elevating the local hip hop scene.

Artists in this region have found inspiration and strength in the supportive community and vibrant venues like Area 51 Bar & Grill. United by their shared passion, these artists bring a unique flavor to the ever-evolving hip hop landscape.

As central Illinois' hip hop scene continues to grow, these artists prove that creativity and innovation thrive outside the major music industry hubs, serving as an inspiration to aspiring musicians everywhere.

Overcoming Challenges in the Industry

Delving into the obstacles and realities faced by emerging hip hop artists and their determination to rise above.

While hip hop enjoys immense popularity, achieving mainstream success remains a formidable task, particularly for artists from smaller towns like Jacksonville. Factors such as age, consistency, and ever-changing trends contribute to the uphill climb.

The Power of Location

Location plays a significant role, limiting the exposure of talented artists who may go unrecognized due to geographical constraints. Despite the challenges, these artists push forward, relying on their passion and unwavering commitment to their craft.

The music industry has evolved, providing artists with increased accessibility to create and share their music. The internet and home studios have eliminated the need for expensive recording and promotional budgets, empowering artists to follow their dreams.

Defining Success on One's Terms

For many artists, success cannot be solely defined by fame and fortune. Instead, it lies in the ability to pursue their passion, share their art with others, and create connections within their communities. Collaborating and supporting local talent fosters a sense of unity and strengthens the foundations of the hip hop scene.

Regardless of the barriers they face, emerging hip hop artists like Robert 'Robby Freak' Borga and Joe 'Wicked Sweet' Wigger remain committed to their vision, finding success on their own terms while encouraging others to do the same.

The Resilience and Unity of Hip Hop

Examining the enduring spirit of hip hop and its ability to bring together diverse voices and perspectives.

Hip hop transcends boundaries, acting as a melting pot of genres and cultures. Its resilience lies in its constant evolution and impactful storytelling, allowing artists to share experiences and inspire change.

As hip hop artists in central Illinois rise to prominence, they demonstrate the genre's capacity to unite disparate voices within a community. Through music, they connect listeners, spark dialogues, and address social and political issues, shedding light on shared struggles and triumphs.

Young artists continue to take inspiration from pioneers of the genre, paving the way for future generations to express themselves through hip hop. This unifying force bridges gaps and fosters understanding, creating a platform for unheard voices to make an impact.


In celebration of hip hop's 50th anniversary and its continuing influence, artists like Robert 'Robby Freak' Borga and Joe 'Wicked Sweet' Wigger are redefining success and unity. Hip hop has transcended geographical limitations, flourishing even in smaller communities like central Illinois. Despite the challenges, artists persevere, fueled by their passion for the genre and the supportive network they have created.

The evolution of hip hop has created a platform for diverse voices to be heard and brought communities together. As the genre continues to inspire and empower future generations, the impact of hip hop will undoubtedly extend beyond our wildest imaginations.

Through their unwavering dedication to their craft, hip hop artists become the driving force behind its growth and influence. The world of hip hop stands as a testament to the power of artistic expression and the unity it fosters among individuals from all walks of life.


Q: Can hip hop artists from smaller towns achieve mainstream success?

A: While mainstream success may be elusive for artists from smaller towns, the definition of success can vary for different individuals. Many artists find fulfillment in pursuing their passion, achieving recognition within their own communities, and making a living doing what they love.

Q: How has hip hop influenced the local music scene in central Illinois?

A: Hip hop has breathed new life into the local music scene in central Illinois, revealing a burgeoning community of talented and dedicated artists. Their creativity and perseverance have inspired aspiring musicians and strengthened the foundations of the hip hop genre in the region.

Q: What makes hip hop such a unifying force?

A: The power of hip hop lies in its ability to connect people, bridging gaps between cultures and perspectives. Its inclusiveness and emphasis on storytelling allow for unheard voices to be heard and shared experiences to be understood, fostering unity and sparking dialogue.

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