The Smithsonian is documenting the rich history of hip-hop with The Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap. The anthology aims to catalog that history by way of a gorgeous, 300-page collection of vintage rap visuals, along with nine CDs.
Director and curator of Smithsonian Folkways, Huib Schippers, explains that the original idea for the anthology dates back to the early 2000s, when the new National Museum of African American History and Culture opened.
“We formed an Executive Board of 10 luminaries: artists, industry leaders, music journalists and scholars, who in turn invited 50 experts put forward the tracks they thought were crucial in the development of hip-hop and rap,” Schippers explains of the intensive process.
“The tracks on the anthology, packaged together with the notes, essays, images and design, tell a story and will hopefully open the door for further discussion and exploration about hip-hop, it’s meaning and its cultural impact,” adds Dr. Dwandalyn Reece, Curator of Music and Performing Arts at the museum.
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