National Museum of African American History and Culture | Collecting #HipHopHistory Tweetup
On October 17th, I was invited to the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) to participate in their Collecting #HipHopHistory Tweetup. The NMAAHC opened its doors on September 24, 2016 and after six months, 1.2 million people had visited the NMAAHC, making it one of the four most-visited Smithsonian museums. Museum officials predicted that attendance after one year will be between 3 and 3.5 million.
The NMAAHC is partnering with their GRAMMY Award-winning record label, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, and Kickstarter to create the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap, a box set that will include 9 CDs and more than 120 tracks, and a 300-page, coffee-table book with essays, extensive track liner notes, never-before-seen photographs and designs by Cey Adams, artist and founding creative director of Def Jam.
The Anthology captures the evolution of hip hop from its earliest days in the late 70s up to contemporary artists of today. Through the chosen tracks, essays, and extensive liner notes, the Anthology reveals the many trends, social and political implications of this multifaceted genre, and its influence on popular culture. The project is not finished yet, and only partially funded. NMAAHC is still finalizing the track list and can then start producing the package — this is why they need you support. The Backers of the Kickstarter will get the box set at production cost and before anyone else. If you’re like me, you’re wondering why would the Smithsonian need my help? The goal of the Kickstarter campaign is to offset production and licensing costs for this ambitious project. Funds above and beyond the project goal will enable the Smithsonian to produce more and to make it more affordable — and therefore more accessible. Be sure to check out their Kickstarter campaign to learn more and to back this incredible project.
A special thank you to Timothy Anne Burnside, Lanae Spruce, Ravon Ruffin, Jessica Johnson, and the whole museum staff for a wonderful morning of memories and history. If you’re planning a trip to DC, make sure you put this location at the top of your list!