United States

Smithsonian Working With Rappers to Create Hip-Hop Anthology

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is working with legendary rappers and hip-hop artists to create "The Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap." 

The goal is to sell a package with more than 120 tracks on nine CDs, a 300-page book with 10 essays from industry experts and stars, exclusive images and a digital remix from 9th Wonder. 

“It will also serve as an extension of the objects and stories of hip-hop already displayed in the galleries of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, offering perspective on the African-American experience and its impact on American culture,” a statement from the museum said. 

The Smithsonian says the collaboration seeks to bring attention to social trends such as police brutality and feminism through the music of stars like Sugarhill Gang, Kanye West and Nicki Minaj. Artists such as Chuck D, MC Lyte, Questlove and 9th Wonder collaborated with industry veterans to make it a reality.

This educational tool designed to tell the story of hip-hop and its origins won’t come cheap -- the Smithsonian started a Kickstarter campaign on Tuesday with the goal of raising $250,000 for the project.

For a pledge of $10,000, donors can take one friend for a guided tour through the NMAAHC by Questlove, among other gifts.

More affordable options to help make #HipHopHistory also appear on the crowdfunding webpage. During the campaign, you can pledge $100 to get a copy of the anthology. 

Smithsonian officials are working to make the collection more affordable later. 

Federal funds keep the Smithsonian afloat, but the institution also relies on private support for large projects. The Smithsonian was founded 171 years ago by a private donation to the U.S. government.

Cey Adams, the artist and creative director of Def Jam, designed the anthology. As of Tuesday afternoon, the campaign has raised over $20,000.

“The story of hip-hop is one of great founding and evolution, and it represents the very best of black music tradition,” said Chuck D, the founder of Public Enemy.

Contact Us