Hip hop historians who are racing to preserve its story

Archiving hip hop’s history is a complex task, especially for institutions like the Smithsonian, due to legalities and procedures. However, the museum is working to digitize as much of its collection as possible to ensure accessibility. Their efforts have already produced the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap, a collaboration between various individuals that tells a story about hip hop. The debate arises regarding where these collections should be housed, as many artifacts are in private collections. While academic archives and museums can provide access, they also raise questions about possession and authenticity. The Universal Hip Hop Museum in the Bronx aims to be a community-accessible space, but the challenge lies in preserving the interactive nature of hip hop in a museum setting.


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