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The Smithsonian Launches Kickstarter Campaign For New Hip Hop Anthology

Smithsonian Hip Hop Anthology

The Smithsonian will collaborate with some of music’s biggest names to create a sweeping hip hop anthology.

The extensive project will include nine CDs produced and released by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings featuring 120 songs, plus a 300-page book with essays by musicians and scholars, liner notes and never-before-seen photographs from the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Legendary names like Chuck D, MC Lyte, Questlove of the Roots and 9th Wonder are some of the artists involved with the collection, which seeks to explore and preserve social issues and causes documented within the realm of hip hop. The Smithsonian also reached out to over 50 scholars, photographers, artists and other cultural influencers to contribute and weigh in on the project.

“Hip-hop is a musical revolution that embodies the voice of an entire generation and that’s why it’s important for the museum to partner with the hip-hop community and Folkways Recordings to tell this story,” said Lonnie G. Bunch III in a statement, founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. “Hip-hop helps us to understand the power of black music and the impact of African American culture on the world.”

As one can guess, a project of this size is not cheap to produce, which is why the Smithsonian is launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise money. So far the institution has raised over $49,000 of its $250,000 goal. Some of the perks offered include a tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture led by Questlove, an advanced copy of the anthology and a copy of 9th Wonder’s digital remix of the Smithsonian Folkways’ catalog. The campaign will run through November 15.

The collection will mark the Smithsonian’s third anthology focused on music culture. Previously Smithsonian Folkways Recordings had released The Anthology of American Folk Music in 1952 and Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology in 2011. The forthcoming hip hop anthology is set to be released in December of 2018.