Pop-Up Museum Highlights DC's Role in Hip-Hop History

Legendary D.C. rapper DJ Kool was recently inducted into the District's Hip-Hop Museum, and he had something to say. 

"Uh huh! Uh huh! Let me clear my throat!" 

DJ Kool and Scarface, of '90s hip-hop fame, were inducted into the hall of fame at The Hip-Hop Museum in D.C. on Saturday. 

The free, pop-up exhibit opened last month at the Blind Whino, which is home to the Southwest Arts Club.

The museum features more than 500 pieces of autographed memorabilia that exhibit founder Jeremy Beaver has collected in recent years.

DJ Kool donated his personal props from the “Let Me Clear My Throat” music video, including his turntable, a chain and a Miami Hurricane jersey and hat.

In part, the Southwest D.C. museum highlights the importance of go-go, a style popularized in D.C., in the evolution of hip-hop.

“It’s very pivotal for the world to understand what go-go means and how it is integrated into [the] regular hip-hop genre,” said Ian Callender, co-founder of Blind Whino. “It makes us D.C. residents proud to know we played a role in the most affluent type of music to date.”

D.C.’s own Master Gee, founder of The Sugarhill Gang, also was in attendance for the event Saturday. The Sugarhill Gang is famous for their song, “Rapper’s Delight,” which influenced many hip-hop tracks that followed it.

Blind Whino’s presence in the D.C. creative community makes it an ideal location for the exhibit, Callender said. 

“Blind Whino was founded to fill a void in our city,” he said. “Those spaces were not nonexistent, but just kind of low quantity-wise. We saw an opportunity here ... to activate this historic facility.”

The pop-up was extended through March 17. In the coming weeks, organizers said they plan to feature more women, in honor of Women’s History Month.

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