#39. The Greatest Day In Hip-Hop History (XXL, 1998)

Issue: #7 (October 1998)
Art Direction: Donald E. Morris
Photography: Gordon Parks

Modeled after Art Kane's legendary "Great Day In Harlem" Esquire shoot from 1958, XXL's "The Greatest Day In Hip-Hop History," was a reminder that the hip-hop world could still come together in the name of unity. The original featured 57 jazz icons chilling on a 126th St. stoop.

XXL upped the ante and bumped the number to a whopping 200 hundred hip-hop artists and personalities, across a fold-out cover. It was a relevant and even-handed distribution of acts from across the hip-hop nation—Rakim, the Native Tongues, Hierolyphics, Scarface, E-40, Twista, and Pete Rock are just a random sampling of the crowd. (There is a highly recommended three-part documentary on the making of the cover available on YouTube.)