New York, New Music

1980–1986

Opens June 11, 2021

Coming Soon!
LL Cool J with a boombox on his shoulder.

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During the early 1980s, New York experienced a community-driven musical renaissance. The result was an era of creativity and genre-defying performance that stands as one of the most influential in musical and cultural history. A wide range of music, from punk to pop to hip-hop to salsa to jazz, mixed in a dynamic arts scene that stretched across clubs and bars, theaters, parks, and art spaces. Together, they provided fertile ground for a musical revolution—one that continues to influence pop culture to this day. Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of MTV, New York, New Music: 1980–1986 will highlight diverse musical artists—from Run DMC to the Talking Heads, from Madonna to John Zorn—as a lens to explore the broader music and cultural scene, including the innovative media outlets, venues, record labels, fashion and visual arts centered in New York City in these years. 

Janette Beckman. LL Cool J NYC. 1985. Courtesy of the photographer.
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