WASHINGTON D.C. - The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture is working to preserve the history of hip-hop.
The influence of the music genre can be heard world wide.
It began as inner-city culture and grew to be mainstream. Now historians want to tell the story.
Curator Dwandalyn Reece says, “Hip-hop is just one of those stories that fits in with our national heritage.”
The National Museum of African-American History and Culture currently features photos, records and memorabilia about music’s role in black communities. Now the museum wants to add to that collection. Staff say the focus is on the cultural, social and historical significance of hip-hop.
"Hip-hop is very much in the moment," Reece said. "Its been around for 40 years and reflects several generations at this time so it is a natural outgrowth of what we support."
Right now the Museum is using an online campaign to raise more than $250,000. That money will be used to produce the Smithsonian Anthology of hip-hop and rap.
Artist like MC Lyte, Chuck D and Quest Love worked with industry insiders on the project. It includes photos, essays and more than 120 tracks to help document history.
"So we can tell the story from the complete perspective," Reece said.
Reece says the goal is to release the box set by the end of 2018.
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