On August 20, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) - in partnership with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings - will release the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap. The collection of nine CDs will chronicle the evolution, growth, and global impact of hip-hop culture and rap from 1979-2013.
129 music tracks will accompany the aural history, each with extensive notes about each track. Along with the nine CDs is a 300-page coffee table book featuring 11 essays from music scholars, authors, and journalists. It will elaborate on subjects such as women in hip-hop, entrepreneurship, and graffiti, and include hundreds of photographs. The book was designed by Def Jam creative director Cey Adams.
Rappers MC Lyte and Public Enemy’s Chuck D, writer-scholars Adam Bradley and Cheryl Keyes, early Def Jam senior executives Bill Adler and Bill Stephney, artist-writer-director Questlove, and producer-educator 9th Wonder were among the key figures comprising an executive committee that discussed the anthology’s premise back in 2014. Throughout the anthology's seven-year creation, an additional panel of advisors was added to the team in order to represent every facet of hip-hop culture.
Dr. Dwandalyn R. Reece, NMAAHC’s associate director for curatorial affairs, curator of music and performing arts, is also the anthology’s producer. She told Billboard:
“The Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap, created in collaboration with a team of artists, scholars, journalists, creatives, industry insiders and aficionados, reflects the voices of those of the culture while drawing upon a diverse range of perspectives and life experiences. Each track on the anthology was included because our advisors thought in some way that the track contributed to the overall story of hip-hop’s evolution and its impact on society. Accompanied by a 300-page book that includes essays, photographs and other illustrations, the anthology captures the richness and complexity of hip-hop as a cultural and social phenomenon.”
The Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap is the latest addition to the Smithsonian African American Legacy Series: a collaboration between Smithsonian Folkways and NMAAHC. You can find more information about the anthology, as well as the pre-order, on the NMAAHC website.
Watch the trailer for the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap below.
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Article Image: David Banner and Ludacris posing together outside. (Douglas Remley [Provided by Smithsonian] via National Museum of African American History and Culture.)